Iran Moves Oil Terminal Out of Gulf

Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 - 10:45
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran is to move its main oil export terminal from the Gulf to the Oman Sea sparing its tankers from using the strategic Strait of Hormuz, President Hassan Rouhani announced on Tuesday,

This move would in theory allow Iran to continue exporting oil even if the Strait was closed.

Rouhani said exports will be shifted from the Khark Island terminal, in the Gulf, to Bandar-e-Jask in Oman Sea. He noted the transfer would be completed by the end of his term in 2021.

Earlier, Reuters quoted Rouhani as saying: “The enemy says ‘I want an Iran that’s in my control, that’s in my fist… This is impossible...They want to pull us back 40 years, to surrender.”

He suggested that Washington is trying to pressure Iran through sanctions, though he did not explicitly name the United States.

"This is very important for me, it is a very strategic issue for me. A major part of our oil sales must move from Khark to Jask," Rouhani was quoted by Agence-France Presse as he inaugurated three new petrochemical plants in the southern energy hub of Asaluyeh.

To reach the oil terminal on Khark Island, tankers must currently pass through the narrow Strait of Hormuz which slows down deliveries.

Previously, Iran has repeatedly threatened to block Hormuz when faced with sanctions on its oil exports and possible military action by the US.

The latest threat was in July when Rouhani said Iran has always guaranteed the security of the Strait but warned the US "should not play with the lion's tale."

In May, US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and will reimpose sanctions on Iran's oil sector in November.

Roughly 35 percent of all seaborne oil passes through Strait of Hormuz, based on the US Energy Information Administration.

Bloomberg reported that Iran exported 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in August, but analysts say US sanctions could reduce sales to around 1 million bpd.

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