Beyond Hormuz: Tehran opens an oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman
Outgoing President Rouhani says the goal is to "avoid the Strait" which is now "strategically vulnerable". The new terminal shows "the failure" of US sanctions. Oil Minister: billion investment. Agreement on crude oil production reached between Opec+ countries.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Tehran has opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, to bypass the Strait of Hormuz, the source of decades of disputes and international tensions that have led to a spike in crude prices.
The move was confirmed yesterday by President Hassan Rouhani, who said that the operation is intended to allow the Islamic Republic's ships to "avoid the strait", which he says has become "strategically vulnerable".
In one of his last televised addresses to the nation, the outgoing leader spoke of "a strategic move and an important step for Iran" because "it will ensure continuity of oil exports". "This new crude export terminal," he added, "shows the failure of Washington's sanctions" against the country.
Rouhani revelaed that Tehran intends to export at least one million barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Bandar-e Jask, a port on Iran's Gulf of Oman coast, just south of the Strait of Hormuz. In the past, the Islamic Republic's leaders have threatened to block the Strait in case of severe export restrictions linked to US sanctions, which tightened three years ago under President Trump and the subsequent abandonment of the nuclear deal (JCPOA).
Tehran and the current US administration led by Joe Biden have entered into indirect talks in Vienna in an attempt to revive the agreement that enshrined the lifting of most US sanctions in exchange for curbing the ayatollahs' nuclear programme. "The implementation of the Goreh-Jask port crude oil transfer project took place with about billion investment," Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said.
In the meantime, some of the major producing countries have reached an agreement to increase oil extraction. On 18 July, in fact, the 23 nations of Opec+ reached an agreement that envisages a monthly increase of 400 thousand barrels a day on average, starting from August, thus raising world production by 2% by the end of the year. The oil cartel comprises the 13 Opec (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) members, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, plus 10 other major producers, including Russia.
Negotiations in recent months had escalated into open hostility between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, which opposed the extension of the pact to the end of 2022 in order to increase its production and redefine the rules established on a temporary basis by Opec.The compromise was reached by granting the Emirates to increase its share from next April in exchange for their consent to the extension of the pact until the end of 2022. Under the agreement, which was welcomed by the markets and led to an immediate drop in prices, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and Iraq will also increase their production quotas.