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US sanctions have caused 95% decline in Iran oil exports: Pompeo

Washington — US sanctions have taken 95% of Iranian crude oil exports off the world market, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

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In an appearance at The Economic Club of Washington, DC, Pompeo said sanctions, which were fully imposed in May, have had seemingly no impact on global crude oil prices. He added that the US was continuing to work with allies to form an international coalition to protect commercial traffic through the Strait of Hormuz.

"We are committed to keeping the Strait of Hormuz open and secure," Pompeo said.

Earlier this month, Brian Hook, the US State Department's special representative for Iran, told S&P Global Platts that Iran's oil exports likely fell below 300,000 b/d in June.

According to data from S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow, shipments of Iranian oil fell to about 448,600 b/d in June from about 901,100 b/d in May and about 2.5 million b/d in June 2018.

S&P Global Platts Analytics expects Iranian exports to average 400,000-450,000 b/d in the second half of 2019, down from 1.5 million b/d in the first half.

Obtaining an accurate estimate of Iran's crude and condensate exports is proving tricky as a number of Iran's state-owned oil tankers have recently turned off their satellite tracking systems, muddying the waters on where its oil is flowing.

Iran is also using to ship-to-ship transfer to sell its oil at ports, with STS facilities in the Persian Gulf and parts of Southeast Asia.

Iranian crude is shipped to these regions using feeder ships and then transferred to smaller vessels that do not mention Iran as the origin.

The US fully imposed sanctions on Iranian crude and condensate exports in May when it allowed waivers to Iran's biggest buyers to expire.

-- Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jonathan Dart, newsdesk@spglobal.com