October 17, 2017 / 6:42 AM / a year ago

Iran Nov condensate exports to recover 1 pct from 5-mth low -source

* Nov condensate exports to rise 1 pct m/m to 297,000 bpd -source

* But that still way below levels seen earlier in year

* South Pars field maintenance hits supply

By Osamu Tsukimori

TOKYO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Iranian exports of ultra-light crude oil known as condensate are set to recover 1 percent in November from a five-month low in October, although maintenance at a key oilfield will continue to drag on supply, a source with knowledge of the country’s preliminary tanker schedule said on Tuesday.

Iran plans to load a total of about 297,000 barrels per day (bpd) of condensate for export in November, up slightly from around 295,000 bpd this month, said the source, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to media.

Shipments of condensate are being dented by a “technical problem” at the South Pars field, with maintenance expected to take 1-2 months to complete, National Iranian Oil Company’s Director of International Affairs Saeid Khoshrou told Reuters in late September.

Exports of condensate, used in petrochemical production, will return to about 450,000 bpd after the maintenance, although that is still well below the 550,000 bpd average over the last 15 months, the official said.

Shipments of the ultra-light oil from Iran have eased since reaching a post-sanctions high of 601,000 bpd in February this year, more than double the level from January 2016 when Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme were lifted.

Iran has struggled to expand oil exports after it had cleared excess oil stored onshore and offshore. Iran, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, does not publish monthly data on its condensate and crude exports.

Iranian condensate exports to top customer South Korea will rise to nearly 186,000 bpd from about 153,000 bpd in October, the source said.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates is expected to lift about 99,000 bpd next month, down 11 percent from October, while Japan is to load 12,000 bpd in November, also down 11 percent.

China will not load Iranian condensate next month after loading nearly 17,000 bpd in October, the source added.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, defying both U.S. allies and adversaries by refusing to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the accord even though international inspectors say it is.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford

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