• Iran has been ramping up activity at key oil fields as a US decision on sanctions looms.
  • A similar surge occurred after the sanctions were lifted in 2016, as Iran ramped up output to 3.8 MMb/d.
  • Iran inventories have crept up since October 2017, reaching  26.8 MMb in March. Exports have averaged 2.35 MMb/d for the last six months.
  • Kharg Island is shaping the trend of inventory levels in Iran tracked by Kayrros, with 15 MMb of crude oil stored on the island at the end of March.
  • Satellite imaging shows the most active fields in March were Gachsaran, Marun, and Aghajari, with the production of 350 kb/d, 400 kb/d, and 200 kb/d. respectively.

The Iranian sanctions heavily impacted the country’s oil and gas industry in 2012, forcing it to cut its crude oil exports by around 1 million b/d. As OPEC and the IEA are now warning about a potential supply gap in the short term, and Venezuela’s output is in free-fall, the reimposition of sanctions on Iran would accelerate any supply shortage.

Activity Index (AI) measurements for several fields have spiked over the past five weeks. Gashahran’s reported production last averaged 350 kb/d by the end of 2017. At the 400 kb/d Marun oil field, there was also an AI spike. The 200kb/d Aghajari oil field saw a dramatic increase in its AI throughout Q1 2018.

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