U.S. and European sanctions targeting the Iranian energy sector make it difficult for the country to trade oil. Some countries, however, have received sanctions waivers in exchange for cutting back on Iranian crude oil imports.
Industry sources told the Platts news service on condition of anonymity that Iran has been storing fuel oil offshore of the United Arab Emirates and selling it at a discount through Horizon Energy LLC. That company, reports Platts, was owned by trading company Fal Oil, once hit with U.S. sanctions for working in the Iranian energy sector.
"They are undercutting the market, selling on a cash basis at way below market value," the source told Platts. "(Horizon) has been taking oil on an open account, on a best endeavor basis and selling out of their floating storage."
The International Energy Agency last month reported that Iranian oil exports fell from 2.2 million barrels per day in 2011 to 860,000 bpd in September.
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Iran aims to produce as much as 5.5 million bpd of oil under a development plan that ends March 2015.