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Iran to build oil terminal with China

New terminal taking western Iranian oil will be positioned in the Strait of Hormuz.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Iranian media reports a deal was reached with a Chinese company to build a new oil terminal in the Persian Gulf. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI
Iranian media reports a deal was reached with a Chinese company to build a new oil terminal in the Persian Gulf. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

TEHRAN, June 16 (UPI) -- A $550 million contract with a Chinese partner envisions the construction of a new oil loading terminal in the Persian Gulf, Iranian media reported.

The semi-official Fars News Agency reports a contract was signed between an Iranian machine company and an undisclosed Chinese counterpart to build an oil terminal on an island in the Strait of Hormuz.

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"The oil terminal will be built in Qeshm Island in the southern part of the Persian Gulf and will turn the island into a major center for oil production and storage," the report read.

Fars reported the terminal would be able to store as much as 30 million barrels of oil and generate up to $300 million in annual revenue under the terms of a 10-year lease. Though no construction benchmarks were unveiled, the report said the first stage of operations envisions storage of about 10 million barrels of oil produced from western Iranian fields.

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Iranian officials this week said exports have reached more than 2 million barrels per day now that some of the sanction barriers were removed. Iran was verified as conforming to the terms of a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement in January and is now freed from some economic restrictions, though some financial doors are still closed because of existing U.S. sanctions.

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Exports from Iran averaged around 1.4 million bpd last year. Before sanctions were imposed in 2011, the export average was around 2.6 million bpd, with most of that headed to the Asian market.

Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said it's within the nation's rights to ensure a larger market share now that sanctions pressures are easing.

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According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran's reported crude oil production for May averaged 3.6 million bpd, up 2.8 percent from the previous month and 16 percent higher than during 2014.

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