EghtesadOnline: Anew export terminal was officially inaugurated at Jask Port, Hormozgan Province, on Thursday, allowing Iran to export its crude oil beyond the Strait of Hormuz, and the export of the first shipment of Iranian crude oil from the Sea of Oman was carried out on Friday.
The terminal has a loading capacity of 1 million barrels per day of crude oil via a massive 1,000-kilometer pipeline from Goureh in Bushehr Province, the Oil Ministry’s news agency Shana reported.
Addressing a virtual ceremony to officially launch the project, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the project is currently operating with an oil transfer capacity of 300,000 bpd, which will gradually increase to 1 million bpd by March 2022.
Goureh-Jask crude oil transfer project was completed at a cost of about $2 billion with the aim of creating a daily export capacity of 1 million barrels of crude oil through the new Jask terminal, ensuring the continued export of oil, decentralization of export terminals and diversification of oil export centers.
Prior to the launch of the new terminal, Iran exported most of its crude oil from Kharg Terminal that has been the country’s main oil export outlet in the Persian Gulf for decades.
Jask will be another major site with the advantage that oil tankers will not have to pass through the narrow and clogged Strait of Hormuz.
Relying on Domestic Capabilities
The project has been carried out with the help of Iranian engineers and manufacturers by relying on domestic know-how and capabilities, despite the US sanctions that have troubled the country for years.
Zanganeh noted that some 250 Iranian contractors and domestic producers have participated in the project.
Among the major contributors to the project were pipe and pump manufacturers, such as Ahvaz Industrial Pipe Company, the Isfahan-based Mobarakeh Steel Company and Khuzestan Oxin Steel Company.
Large BB3 multistage centrifugal pumps used in the project were indigenized by domestic manufacturers, namely Iran Industrial Pumps Company and Heavy Duty Pumps and Water Turbine Manufacture Company (Petco).
The oil minister stressed that all the national and international standards, including IPS, API and ASME standards, have been observed in the Goureh-Jask pipeline project.
He further expressed optimism that the project would boost the economic development of Makran region.
“Three refineries with a capacity of 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day in this region are under construction. Furthermore, the construction of 10 million-barrel crude oil storage tanks with an investment of $230 million by the private sector is underway in the region,” he added.
Makran Region Development
Iran's massive crude oil and gas reserves have contributed to economic development in the southwestern regions off the Persian Gulf, but areas bordering the Oman Sea in the southeast have hardly benefited from the natural resources.
Stretching along the Oman Sea, the Makran region has not developed into the expected trade and shipping center, save for the port city of Jask that is now an oil and gas terminal.
New oil loading facilities on Makran Coast will significantly reduce shipping costs and spare the lengthy voyage through the Strait of Hormoz all the way to Iran's main oil and gas terminals, in Asalouyeh, Kharg Island and Mahshahr on the westernmost flank of the Persian Gulf.
Iran’s oil exports had declined since the former US president, Donald Trump, imposed tough new economic sanctions after abandoning the 2015 historic Iran nuclear deal with world powers in the summer of 2018.
Official data on Iran’s oil exports in the past three years are not available, but unofficial reports suggest that it fell to as low as 200,000 barrels per day from 2.4 million bpd before the sanctions.
However, the new US administration is expected to ease the restrictions and negotiations have been underway in recent months between Tehran and world powers in this regard.
Zanganeh said Iran would be able to sell 2.3 million bpd of oil soon after the unilateral US sanctions are eased.