Rouhani inaugurates two major petchem projects
Iran plans to export oil from a port on its Sea of Oman coast by March, President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday, a shift that would avoid using the Strait of Hormuz shipping route. Rouhani made the comment after he launched an oil pipeline project which will enable Iran to export its oil using a route other than the narrow waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
“What is strategic about this project is that many countries in the region have managed to find a second way so that they can export their oil using other routes whenever the Strait of Hormuz faces danger,” Rouhani said addressing a ceremony to inaugurate the project.
“This is a strategic decision and an important step for Iran that will secure the continuation of our oil exports,” he said in a televised speech.
Rouhani said Iran aimed to export 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil by March from Jask, a port on Iran’s Sea of Oman coast, just south of the Strait of Hormuz.
“This move will assure our oil buyers that Iran will continue exporting oil if the Strait is closed,” he said.
The 1,000-km pipeline will bring oil from Goreh in Bushehr port city in the Persian Gulf to Jask.
The Kharg Island terminal in the Persian Gulf is currently Iran’s main terminal, accounting for 90 percent of its oil exports. To reach Kharg, tankers must pass through the Strait of Hormuz.
With the launch of the pipeline from Goreh to Jask, the country’s oil exports will no longer be linked to the Hormuz Strait, which will make Jask strategically important as the country’s second-largest crude oil export terminal. Hit by US sanctions, Iran’s oil exports are estimated at 100,000 to 200,000 bpd, down from more than 2.5 million bpd that Iran shipped in April 2018. The Islamic Republic’s crude production has halved to around 2 million bpd.
The strait is a narrow channel at the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes from West Asian producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.
Reuters and Xinhua contributed to this story.