Sanctions on Iran Dramatically Cut Oil Exports
Iran's oil output has reached its lowest level in 20 years, according to independent data released today, signalling that economic sanctions on the country are working. Typically, oil and gas accounts for more than half of Iran's export revenue.
The West has deepened sanctions against the country in reaction to its nuclear program, which Iran denies has any military aims. The European Union's ban on imports of Iranian oil has led to a 14 percent decline in the country's exports in March. The US has been pressuring others like Japan, China and India to follow suit, although the extent to which those countries need to ban Iranian crude is not clear. Japan's Ministry of Economy released data Thursday, revealing that the country imported 36 percent less oil from Iran in March than in the previous year. China's were cut by over half.
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However, state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. denies any drop in exports form Japan or China, Iran's two biggest customers, maintaining that the sanctions have had little effect. Mohsen Qamsari, international affairs director of the company, disputed official data from the Chinese government and reports from Japan regarding the cuts in Iranian crude. Qamsari even claims that exports to China have increased, he says on the oil ministry's official SHANA news website.
Despite Qamsari's claims that trade relations haven't changed with Japan, either, the Nikkei business daily has said that Iranian oil imports could have fallen as much as 80 percent in April.
In a Washington news conference on Monday with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, President Barack Obama said, “The regime in Tehran is now feeling the economic screws tighten, and one of the reasons is that countries like Japan made the decision to reduce oil imports from Iran."
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.