Iran’s reports on oil sales contradictorySouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 14/01/2013 2:53 am in World / no comments
TEHRAN, Jan. 13 — The reports from the Islamic republic over the country’s oil exports have turned out to be contradictory.
On Sunday, Press TV quoting Iranian Oil Ministry spokesman said that Iran faces no problem selling its oil despite tough U.S.- engineered sanctions against the country over its disputed nuclear program.
Alireza Nikzad-Rahbar said Saturday that Iran’s oil export is currently in “normal conditions.” The country has succeeded in managing the oil market despite international restrictions.
The spokesman’s remarks came as local media, quoting Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, reported last Monday that due to the Western sanctions, Iran’s oil sales had dropped by 40 percent in the past nine months.
Also, head of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Plan and Budget Commission, Gholam-Reza Kateb, referring to the oil minister’s remarks in the parliament, told semi-official ISNA news agency that oil sales in the country had dropped by 40 percent, while gas and oil revenues fell by 45 percent compared to the same period last year.
“We do not have even one crude oil barrel without customer in the Persian Gulf region at present,” said Nikzad-Rahbar, adding that there is no Iranian crude oil saved in oil tankers.
Iran had signed long-term contracts with some of its customers on crude oil exports, he was quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, also semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Nikzad- Rahbar as denying the reports of 40 percent reduction in Iran’s oil sales and 45 percent in oil and gas earnings.
Iranian officials, including the oil minister, had consistently denied that the Western sanctions on the country’s energy sector had any impact on the country’s oil sales or revenues.
Iran for decades has been a large oil provider to the global energy market. Oil exports provide over 70 percent of the Iranian government’s revenues. However, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country’s oil exports declined from 2.5 million barrels per day in December 2011 to about 1.25 million barrels per day as of December 2012.