Iran started exporting condensate — a form of ultra light oil — from two newly launched phases of its giant South Pars Gas Field to Japan.
Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Terminals Company (NIOTC) Pirouz Mousavi was quoted by Press TV as saying that the Japan-bound consignment contained 160,000 barrels of condensate from South Pars phases 20 and 21.
He added that a 300-ton Japanese vessel had lifted the consignment from phases 20 and 21 as well as another from phases 2, 3, 4 and 5.
He did not specify how much had been loaded from other phases but it could stand at several hundred of thousands of barrels.
Mousavi added that the vessel — named ‘Fujikawa’ — was also to load 650,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran’s Forouzan oilfield before leaving for Japan.
Iran announced in December that it was already expanding the market for its condensate, which can be used to make both fuel and plastic.
Masoud Hassani, the managing director of South Pars Gas Complex, told the domestic media at the time that the country had sent its first cargo of one million barrels of condensate to Europe.
In September, indications grew that condensate had already found a special position in Iran’s exports.
The media quoted officials as saying at the time that exports of the ultra-light oil over a period of five months from March 21, 2016 stood at above seven million tons, showing an increase of 76 percent compared to the figure for the same period last year.
South Korea is a key importer of Iran’s condensate. In June, Reuters reported that the country’s imports of condensate from Iran could reach a record level of six million barrels — or 200,000 barrels a day – over the month.
Reuters said it had used figures provided by traders to make the estimate given that South Korea does not provide separate data on imports of condensate.