A reality check is in order.
NPR ran a segment over the weekend saying Iran’s dramatic return to crude production and exports is “confounding the experts and beating expectations.” Well, not so much. Iran surprised virtually everyone but us.
As you can see below, Hedgeye Potomac Senior Energy Analyst Joe McMonigle predicted this in his January 17 note, “Iran sanctions relief to trigger crude exports sooner and larger than expectations.” In the note, he advised our subscribers to expect 700,000 barrels per day by March. Iran is now at 800,000 barrels per day and growing.
Here's what NPR had to say
“When the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was implemented in January, it was widely believed it would take at least a year for the country’s oil industry to get back up to speed after years of sanctions. But Iran is confounding the experts and beating expectations.”
Here's what we wrote back in January
“The same analysts who were surprised at how quickly sanctions got lifted are now underestimating Iran’s production capabilities, or incorrectly believe Iran will move slowly due to low crude prices. Our view is that Iran will increase production by larger amounts and sooner than most observers think. We anticipate that Iran, by itself, has the capability to produce approximately 700,000 barrels a day of additional crude for export by March 2016.”
“As a result of sanctions, Iran reduced production across the board as opposed to shutting down major upstream fields. Therefore, increasing production in the short-term would be almost like pushing a button. Iran could easily reach 700,000 barrels a day by increasing production by a couple hundred barrels a day at its 2,280 producing wells.”
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This is a big deal on an important call that we got right. We were virtually alone in making the call.
On a related note, our world-class cartoonist captured our contrarian call later that week on January 22 with this cartoon.