Rouhani in­au­gu­rates two ma­jor petchem projects

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

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.

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