With more sanctions on Iranian crude oil on the horizon, Tehran might be forced to offer its oil to existing costumers at a discount, analysts say.
Washington placed additional sanctions on Iran, targeting Tehran's energy sector. The move last week was in response to an assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Tehran was working on certain aspects of a nuclear weapon.
Iran in October pumped around 3.6 million barrels of oil per day, Bloomberg News reports. The country has some of the largest oil deposits in the world but its consumer base is limited by sanctions.
Robin Mills, an analyst at Manaar Energy Consulting in Dubai, told Bloomberg News that more sanctions could hurt Iran's oil revenues.
"The idea of the sanctions is to shrink the circle of buyers and so increase their ability to extract discounts from Iran," she was quoted as saying.
French and European officials last week said they were considering more sanctions on the Iranian energy sector.
Nick Grandage, a lawyer at Norton Rose LLP, a law firm specializing in trade finance, said additional pressure on Tehran "will make it even harder for people to finance trade with Iran."