Iran Lacks Clear Oil Export Strategy, Expert Says

By Roshanak Astaraki

The Iranian government continues to sell the country’s crude oil without having a clear export strategy, Sadegh Mardani, an energy stock market expert, has said.

“Various methods which Iran has been using to sell its crude could have yielded the intended results if the country had developed a robust system to trade in the oil market. However, that is not possible under current circumstances,” the Mehr News Agency quoted Mr. Mardani as saying late last month. “Economic sanctions, failure to develop an energy trade policy, and the Iranian National Oil company’s monopoly of the industry are the major contributing factors to the current situation.”

“U.S. sanctions have targeted the Iranian oil industry, forcing the country to use a wide range of tactics to sell its oil. It is, therefore, clear that the government does not have a coherent strategy for dealing with the problems caused by the sanctions,” Mardani explained. “The government believes the sale of Iranian crude could meet the country’s financial needs. However, unlike the rest of the oil-trading nations, Iran does not ascribe to the concept of the value chain.”

[aesop_image img=”” panorama=”off” credit=”FILE PHOTO: A security personnel looks on at oil docks at the port of Kalantari in the city of Chabahar, 300km (186 miles) east of the Strait of Hormuz, Iran. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionsrc=”custom” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

Mardani noted: “The government has been focusing on selling Iranian crude for nearly a decade. It has not devised an effective oil trade strategy to counter the latest set of sanctions. Instead, we are using old tactics to bypass the sanctions. That is why the stock market could not boost the Iranian oil trade.”

“Lack of a coherent trade strategy to counter the effects of the economic sanctions has prompted the government to sell the crude any way it can, which will ultimately harm the country’s energy industry,” Mardani warned. “The National Iranian Oil Company has had the exclusive rights to sell the country’s oil for the past 50 years. We have not, therefore, explored other ways to develop an energy trade policy. Despite the large volume of its crude export, the Iranian oil trade remains at a low level, preventing it from impacting the financial market. It also makes it next to impossible for the energy stock market to have a clear view of the Iranian oil industry.”

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]