TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has no plans to sell any more of the oil it holds in floating storage off its southern coast, a top Iranian oil official said in remarks published on Tuesday.
Industry sources estimated the world’s fourthÙ€largest oil exporter had around 30 million barrels stored on Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) off its Persian Gulf coast in May.
The storage grew as global spring refinery work cut demand for Iran’s crude by around 300,000 barrels per day in April and May.
“We do not have any crude in floating storage, light or heavy, to sell,” Iranian oil ministry news agency Shana quoted Ali Asghar Arshi as saying.
Iran sold the crude it had stored when oil prices were higher and so had profited from oil’s rally to the July peak over 147 US dollars a barrel, Shana reported Arshi as saying. Shana did not say who bought the oil or how much was still on the tankers.
Arshi told Reuters last week that less than six million barrels was still on the vessels, and would be refined in Iran within a month.
Last week, Shana quoted another official as saying that an increase in storage capacity at Iran’s main export terminal on Khark Island in the Persian Gulf had helped reduce the oil in storage.
A new million barrel storage facility at Khark Island had taken total storage there to 19 million barrels, Shana reported.
Another million barrels of storage was under construction and would boost total holding capacity at Khark Island to over 20 million barrels, Shana reported the managing director of Iran’s oil storage terminal company Moussa Souri as saying.
Iran has no onshore storage for oil produced at the offshore Soroush and Nowruz oilfields, so always keeps some crude on floating storage off its Persian Gulf coast.