Iran’s outgoing President Hassan Rouhani officially opened on Thursday the country’s new oil export terminal built to allow the Islamic Republic to ship crude oil without the need for tankers traveling through the world’s most strategic oil chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz.
The Jask Oil Terminal is on the Sea of Oman outside the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which has been the theater of frequent skirmishes between Iran and western powers, including the United States, in recent years.
“This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will secure the continuation of our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech for opening the terminal. “This new crude export terminal shows the failure of Washington’s sanctions on Iran,” the Islamic Republic’s outgoing president said in the speech as carried by Reuters.
This weekend, senior Iranian officials said the country looks to export its first oil cargo very soon.
On Tuesday, Masoud Karbasian, CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said that loading and export of the first shipment of Iranian crude oil from Jask would take place on Thursday, as ordered by the Iranian president.
“This project is a unique manifestation of smashing the sanctions and relying on domestic capabilities,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said at the virtual opening ceremony, as carried by the oil ministry’s news service, Shana.
The terminal will become fully operational in March 2022, Zangeneh added. The facility is currently operating at a crude transfer capacity of 300,000 barrels per day (bpd). This capacity is set to rise to 500,000 bpd by December, 750,000 b/d by January, and 1 million bpd by March 2022, Zangeneh said.
Iran has been looking for years to bypass the strategic Strait of Hormuz. That’s why it built the Goureh-Jask pipeline, 1,100 kilometers (684 miles) long, which will now carry crude from the Goureh oil terminal in the northwest of Iran to the Jask region on the Sea of Oman, without tankers having to pass through the Strait of Hormuz.