European companies line up for Iranian oil deals
Iran’s oil exports are currently close to pre-sanction levels of around 2.5 million barrels per day. (Iberorusa)
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Iran has signed contracts with major European companies for the sale of crude oil, five months after the implementation of the last year’s nuclear agreement between Tehran and six global powers, a senior Iranian official says.
“Iran has signed agreements for the sale of crude oil with some companies from Italy (Saras and Iplom), Spain (Repsol) and Greece (Hellenic Petroleum), and negotiations with other major oil companies are underway for crude oil sale,” Mohsen Qamsari, the director for international affairs of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said on Saturday, according to a report by Iran's official news agency, IRNA.
He added that Iran’s crude oil is currently being shipped to all these companies.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany signed a nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on July 14, 2015.
Under the deal, which took effect on January 16, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the United Nations Security Council and the US would be lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
Iran’s oil exports are currently close to pre-sanction levels of around 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd), a recent report by Reuters said, citing shipping data by traders.
Iran's oil exports were between 2.1 and 2.3 million bpd in April and May, up from 1.3 million bpd a year ago, when Iran was shut out of the European market and dependent on limited shipments to Asian buyers, it added.
Qamsari further pointed to Iran’s export of oil to Europe and said, “Royal Dutch Shell has recently received one crude oil shipment from Iran within the framework of spot [contracts].”
The NIOC official added that Iran is in negotiations with the Anglo-Dutch company and other major firms and expressed hope the talks would bear fruits in the near future.
Traders said on June 9 that Royal Dutch Shell has resumed purchases of Iranian crude, becoming the second major oil firm after Total to restart trade with Iran after the lifting of sanctions in January.
According to shipping data, Shell fixed Suezmax tanker Delta Hellas to bring 130,000 tons of Iranian crude from Kharg Island on July 8 to continental Europe. Trading sources said the cargo would unload in Rotterdam.
Qamsari also said that 80 percent of contracts on the exports of 600-700 bpd of Iran’s crude to Europe have been realized so far.
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