A senior oil official says Iran is ready to resume crude exports to Egypt which used to transport Iranian oil through the Suez Canal and internal pipelines before 2012 sanctions on Tehran dried them up.
Egyptian oil officials have said they were looking to Iran’s return to the market when sanctions are lifted in early 2016. Former oil minister Sherif Ismail said in July that Egypt had no objections to importing crude from Iran.
“Iran has no restrictions for the sale of crude oil or petroleum products to Egypt,” Deputy Petroleum Minister and Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Roknoddin Javadi said on Monday.
“In case a formal proposal is made, it will be subject to consideration,” he added.
Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said earlier this month that his country looked to a rise in oil volumes through the Sumed pipeline once Iran returned to pre-sanction export levels.
State-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corp owns the 320-km Sumed which runs from the Red Sea to the port of Sidi Kerir.
"They (Iran) used to work with us through Sumed. They used to store their crude there at the Ain Sukhna terminal and Sidi Kerir," Reuters quoted El Molla as saying on the sidelines of an Egypt investor forum in London.
Iran’s return to the market “will boost back again the activity of Sumed”, he added.
Director of international affairs at NIOC Mohsen Qamsari said, “With the annulment of sanctions, Iran’s oil ties with Egypt will definitely improve and more crude oil will be exported to Europe through the Sumed transit line or Suez.”
Javadi hoped expansion of oil trade would help improve political relations between Iran and Egypt.
Western sanctions imposed on Iran's oil sector have brought shipments through Sumed and the Suez Canal to a virtual halt since 2012, hitting revenues for cash-strapped Egypt, the Al-Ahram daily quoted Ismail as saying in July.
Iranian officials have said they plan to pump an additional one million barrels per day of crude oil for exports within months of the easing of Western sanctions.
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