(Persia Digest) – Former Director of International Affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has said: “US can zero Iran’s oil exports; however, finding an alternative for that would not be easy due to the quality of Iran’s crude oil.”
Certain Western media including the Washington Post and Reuters have recently reported that US is set to end exemption from its sanctions for eight buyers of Iran’s oil as of Monday (April 22, 2019). So far, Greece, Italy and Taiwan have stopped their oil imports from Iran. However, Iraq, China, India, Japan, and South Korea are still clients of Iranian oil.
Is US capable of zeroing Iran’s oil exports?
Mohsen Ghamsari, former Director of International Affairs at NIOC, told Persia Digest (PD): “US can zero Iran’s oil exports; however, finding an alternative for that would not be easy due to the quality of Iran’s crude oil.”
He added: “The US can only have a combination similar to Iran’s oil by mixing several crude oils. This is not possible in the short term, but it can happen in the long-term. Therefore, the main issue in the present situation is not the ability of Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to make up for the amount of Iranian oil which is being taken off the market, but the main question is how to produce an oil with the same quality as Iranian oil.”
Ghamsari said: “In the present circumstances, only Saudi Arabia’s medium oil can replace the Iranian oil, but its production is very limited. Therefore, the best way is to mix several crude oils. This is possible in theory but not over a short-term period.”
“Additionally, a combination of US oil and oil produced from its investments in Brazil can result in producing an oil which is similar to the Iranian oil,” Ghamsari added.
As for the impact of Iran’s zero oil exports on the global prices of oil, he said: “Presently, Iran is exporting less than one million bpd and reducing this amount will have no impact on oil prices.”
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