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Iran’s Oil Output, Exports Jump as Washington, Tehran Talk


LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Iran’s oil output and exports jumped in August despite U.S. sanctions, according to consultants and companies that track tanker shipments, as Tehran sells to buyers including China.

Analysts said the higher exports appear to be the result of Iran’s success in evading U.S. sanctions and Washington’s discretion in enforcing them as the two countries seek better relations.

The United States has sought to limit Iran’s oil exports since Donald Trump exited a 2015 nuclear accord in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions aimed at curbing revenues to Iran’s government. But the exports have risen during President Joe Biden’s term, with China a top buyer, according to the industry trackers.

SVB International, a consultant, estimates Iran’s oil production increased in August to 3.15 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest since 2018, with crude oil and condensate exports at just under 2 million bpd.

“Iran is on the path to recover its pre-sanctions oil production,” said SVB’s Sara Vakhshouri.

Three other trackers contacted by Reuters had similar estimates.

The United States is in talks with Iran over a potential agreement in which five U.S. citizens would be released by Iran and $6 billion in Iranian funds in South Korea would be unfrozen. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has declined to offer a timeline on a deal.