LONDON - Iran's oil exports have stayed above levels allowed under Western sanctions for a fifth month, according to sources who track tanker movements, in a further sign that a deal to ease some restrictions is helping Tehran sell more crude.
Under the deal, Iran's exports are supposed to be held at an average 1 million bpd for the six months to July 20. But shipments to Asia have topped that level at least since November, according to ship tracking data.
The Obama administration believes that exports will fall in coming months and on average will fall to the 1 million bpd level stipulated by the interim agreement which went into effect on January 20.
Iran's crude exports have averaged 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, down from 1.4 million bpd in February, said one of the sources. That is still an elevated rate, as imports of Iranian oil in 2013 averaged 1.1 million bpd.