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Does zero mean zero? Why Iranian oil exports won’t end as waivers expire

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Listen: Does zero mean zero? Why Iranian oil exports won’t end as waivers expire

The Trump administration will not extend its Iran sanctions waivers to China, India and other buyers in an attempt to push Iran exports to zero. But Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International, argues on today's Platts Capitol Crude that even with strict US sanctions coming into full force this week, as many as 550,000 b/d of Iranian crude could continue to be exported by Iran.

Vakhshouri estimates that as many as 200,000 b/d could be sold to smugglers on international waters while Iran could continue to ship as much as 150,000 b/d to India and 200,000 b/d to China as part of debt repayment programs. Since these exports to China and India would be debt repayment, not revenue to Iran, the US may allow those imports to continue, Vakhshouri argues. In this interview, Vakhshouri also talks about who may fill the supply gap created by US sanctions; the impact on Venezuela, Libya and other supply risks; and whether China may simply decide to not comply with sanctions as its waiver expires.

Related coverage

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OPEC has the spare capacity to offset Iran's oil supply losses, but does it have the will?