Iranian Night Lights: Genscape Detects a 1 Million Barrel per Day Decline in Total Liquids Production

Iranian Night Lights
Blog December 11, 2018

In the midst of crude prices collapsing and OPEC’s production cut, curiosity swirls over the state of Iran’s oil production numbers after the U.S. enforced the harshest Iranian sanctions in history. Moreover, oil import waivers for Iran’s customers and OPEC’s move to exempt Iran from production cuts further exacerbates the uncertainty, leaving the oil market on edge regarding just how much of Iran’s production will decline during 2019 (the current waivers expire in May).

iranian total liquids production
The green line represents daily Iranian total liquids production detected by Genscape's High-Frequency Oil Production Monitor. Click to enlarge

Most market participants rely on trying to count export cargos from Iran’s Kharg Island (among other locations) by watching visible volumes on AIS tracked ships. But, relying on this technology alone makes it difficult to decipher volumes if tankers turn their transponders off to avoid detection, a popular practice in volatile producing countries such as Iran.

In this opaque environment, Genscape detects production levels and is the only source for the kind of intel OPEC and other global leaders want to get their hands on.

As of Monday, November 19 our High-Frequency Oil Production Monitor (the “Monitor”) detected a production decline of ~1 million barrels per day of total liquids (oil, condensate, and NGLs) since the Iranian sanctions set in.

Each day, our Monitor delivers (via an API link) daily production updates for Iran, Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, the United States, and more, totaling 26 mmbpd. At the end of December, we are adding the entire North Sea, Mexico, and Indonesia taking the Monitor's coverage to over 32 mmbpd - and we will continue to grow coverage during 2019. Unlike others, we don’t provide raw signals intelligence, which needs translation before it is useful – we do the hard work and transform field-level signals into the language our clients speak – barrels of production per day.

The foundation of the Monitor is Genscape’s Global Oil Supply Report. This comprehensive picture of global production covers 2,500 + fields and produces monthly production estimates by country broken out by liquid type (oil, condensate, NGLs, and other petroleum liquids).

For more information on both products, request a trial for our High-Frequency Oil Production Monitor or learn more about our Global Oil Supply Report.