According to the head of the Iranian Seismological Center, two separate earthquakes hit Southern Iran near the Persian Gulf on Sunday afternoon.
The first earthquake was centered about 64 kilometers northwest of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province. A second earthquake hit the same area about a minute later. Both earthquakes had a magnitude of 6.3 to 6.4, affecting area spreader to Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, even Afghanistan to the east.
Apart from the destruction of some homes and electricity and internet outages in affected provinces, there has been no widespread damage reported. One person was killed by a falling electricity poll, but there were no other confirmed deaths at this moment. Both earthquakes were very shallow, occurred 15 kilometers below the surface.
According to S&P Global, the Iranian refinery in Bandar Abbas, which can produce 350,000 barrels per day, saw no impact from the earthquakes. The National Iranian Gas Co. also confirmed the gas operation was normal, there were no shortages of fuel supplies and distribution.
Meanwhile, Tehran is set to reopen the JCPOA negotiation talks with EU and U.S. diplomats on Nov. 29. In 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic and years of economic sanctions from the US, Iran’s oil production had fallen to the lowest level since the 1979 revolution, below 2 million barrels per day. Lower oil exports have hit the economy hard, reducing government revenues. In recent months, Iran’s oil production rebounded to 2.5 million barrels per day, largely due to its exemption from OPEC cuts. Iran still hopes the US can lift the sanctions in the upcoming talk so that more oil exports can be released into the market to revive its sluggish economic growth.