Iran’s exports of crude oil and condensate dropped last year to their lowest level since 1986 as the country’s energy sector was hit by US-led economic sanctions, according to the Washington-based Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Islamic Republic’s net estimated oil export revenues dropped 27 per cent to $69bn in 2012, from the $95bn generated a year earlier.

By volume, exports of crude and condensate declined 39 per cent to 1.5 million barrels a day (b/d), from 2.5 million b/d in 2012, the EIA estimated. At the same time, crude and condensate production is estimated to have dropped by 17 per cent and liquid fuels consumption by 1 per cent.

Iran’s oil exports were significantly affected by insurance-related sanctions against tankers carrying Iranian crude to European and Asian markets during 2012.

A Tehran government official said in March that Iran was budgeting for 1.3 million b/d of crude exports for the calendar year starting 21 March.