A view of oil facilities on the Kharg island on the Persian Gulf about 1,250 km (776 miles) south of Tehran. REUTERS./

 By Kayhan Life Staff

The Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) has shut down its Abuzar Oil Field in the Persian Gulf, a source familiar with the situation told Kayhan Life on May 28.

The source explained that the shutdown took place because of high Asian demand for low-priced Russian oil, resulting in a sharp drop in the sale of Iranian oil, even at discounted prices.

More Russian Oil Going East Squeezes Iranian Crude Sales to China

The source said the operations of the Abuzar Oil Field were interrupted by the Supreme National Security Council.

The IOOC, which operates the Abuzar Oil Field, is owned by the National Iranian Oil Company.

The Abuzar Oil Field, discovered in 1961, is the largest Iranian offshore complex. It is located 76 kilometers west of Khark Island in the Persian Gulf. It is composed of three reservoirs; Ghar (estimated to have 4,030 million barrels of oil), Bergen (estimated to have 118 million barrels of oil), and Damman (estimated to have 138 million barrels of oil). The Field produces between 170,000 and 180,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate per day (bpd).

In a report on May 19, the Reuters news agency said: “Iran’s crude exports to China have fallen sharply since the start of the Ukraine war as Beijing favored heavily discounted Russian barrels, leaving almost 40 million barrels of Iranian oil stored on tankers at sea in Asia and seeking buyers.”

“U.S. and European sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 have pushed more Russian crude east, where China has snapped it up, cutting demand for oil from Iran and Venezuela, which are also both under Western sanctions,” the report added.

According to several marine vessel tracking websites, some 20 tankers carrying Iranian oil have dropped anchor in Singapore’s ports. Some have been stuck in those ports since February.

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