Iran is now exporting oil and other petroleum products at pre-sanction levels, according to the numbers which show the effective network of relations cultivated by Tehran, which has been seeking out trade partners to buy its raw materials for months. Sales have reached 2.8 million/bd, equaling pre-2011 levels. This figure includes exports of both oil and condensed crude, a lighter form of petroleum used to produce petrochemical products often in combination with shale gas, which itself is not factored into OPEC records.
The United Kingdom is one of the most important partners to which Iran has begun exporting crude oil. An oil cargo ship also carrying condensed petroleum products recently docked in England. "A ship carrying millions of barrels of condensed natural gas has been delivered to BP," explained Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at NIOC, Iran’s state oil company. According to Ghamsari, at least two other freighters are also currently headed to the UK, carrying crude oil to 2 as yet unnamed energy companies.
The importance of diversified exports as a solution - with Europe as a potential growth market, in light of the problems with Russia - is also made clear by the situation of Saudi Arabia, where the government in Riyadh has announced that it can no longer guarantee bonuses and benefits to public employees due to low oil prices. A spokesperson for the Saudi crown has informed the public that even the salaries of government ministers will be reduced by 20%. The plummeting price of oil has hit the country’s budget particularly hard. For example, in 2015 there was a state budget deficit amounting to $100 billion.