Following the strategic partnership Tehran inked with Beijing earlier this year, China has moved to ramp up oil production in Iran’s prolific West Karoun area.

The super giant Azadegan oil field, is important to Iran’s overall strategic plan to survive the current sanctions environment. When they are lifted, Iran wants to prosper from the flagship South Pars gas field and the added-value products of its petrochemicals sector.

For now, Washington has managed to “cut off probably over 95% of the oil revenues” of Iran.

China remains Iran’s top crude oil and condensate importer. According to S&P Global Platts’ sources, in recent months a large share of Iranian oil flowing to China has been going via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, both of which are popular hubs for ship-to-ship transfers.

Sources said oil flows to China from Iran dramatically decreased over the past year. Nevertheless, China continued offloading Iranian oil from its bonded storage in Dalian, located in the north of the country.

Data showed that Iranian crude and condensate exports to China averaged around 225,000 barrels a day in the second half of 2019, compared to 400,000 bpd in the first half. In 2018, Iran exported around 650,000 bpd of oil to China.

RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2020.

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