The new facility is located near the port of Jask in the Gulf of Oman

Iran opens oil export terminal bypassing the Strait of Hormuz

AFP PHOTO / HO / PRESIDENCIA IRANÍ - President Hassan Rouhani (R) and Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh arriving to inaugurate the Jask oil terminal

Iran has announced the opening of its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, a move that will allow the Persian country to avoid using the Strait of Hormuz sea route, which has been a source of regional tension for decades. The new terminal is located near the port of Jask in the Gulf of Oman, just south of the Strait of Hormuz, allowing ships bound for the Arabian Sea to bypass the narrow route.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani made the news public during a televised speech, noting that "this is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will ensure the continuity of our oil exports". The Islamic Republic had, until now, relied on a terminal at the port of Kharg in the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway less than 40 kilometres (25 miles) at its narrowest point, as its main export facility. 


"We had one terminal and if there was a problem, our oil exports would be cut off," Rohani acknowledged, adding that "it is a historic moment for the Iranian nation."The first cargo of 100 tonnes of oil is loaded outside the Strait of Hormuz. This proves the failure of US sanctions," the Iranian president stressed. The project was inaugurated yesterday at an event attended by both Hassan Rohani and senior oil ministry officials.

The terminal is a major breakthrough for the region, as most of the world's oil producers were forced to cross the Strait of Hormuz with huge tankers. The construction consists of a 1,000-kilometre pipeline that transports oil from the former Goureh pumping station in southwest Iran and stretches around the Persian Gulf as it passes through three southern provinces to reach Khask.


Rohani estimated the value of the new project, which according to Iranian media has been underway for about two years, at $2 billion. Some 250 Iranian companies have also contributed to the construction and engineering work on a project that will enable tankers to cut several days off sailing in the Persian Gulf. Oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the new Jask terminal starts with 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports, but insisted that the target of one million bpd will be reached in March once the third and final phase of the project is completed. 


Iran is seeking to circumvent international sanctions on oil exports and avoid the Strait of Hormuz, which has seen multiple clashes between the Islamic Republic and the United States, which has several warships in the area. Iran is also seeking to diversify its oil exports to countries such as China and India, as this new route offers more direct access.