Six-Fold Rise in EU Oil Imports From Iran
Six-Fold Rise in EU Oil Imports From Iran

Six-Fold Rise in EU Oil Imports From Iran

Six-Fold Rise in EU Oil Imports From Iran

Iran's crude oil exports to European Union countries in the first four months of the year reached 9.31 million tons, more than six times higher than those in the corresponding period last year.

That is equivalent to a total of 66.5 million barrels, or nearly 560,000 barrels per day, Tasnim News Agency reported, citing Eurostat, the official news portal of the European Commission.

The 28-nation bloc took in 1.37 million tons of oil in January-April 2016. The higher export is largely attributed to the lifting of international restrictions against Iran which allowed the OPEC member to recoup the lost ground in the global crude market.

Italy purchased 2.8 million tons in the four-month period, accounting for nearly 30% of all imports. France and Spain were the other major customers, taking in 2.2 million tons and 1.1 million tons respectively.

Greece, whose largest refiner Hellenic Petroleum was the first western company to resume oil trade with Iran after the lifting of sanctions, shipped in 1.04 million tons of crude from the Persian Gulf producer in the said period.

An official at NIOC, the state-owned oil company, said last month that Iran has signed contracts to export between 600,000 and 700,000 barrels per day of crude to its customers in Europe.

Tehran says it exports close to 2.1 million bpd of crude oil and between 600,000 and 700,000 barrels a day of condensates, a type of ultra light crude. The No. 3 OPEC producer aims to ramp up supplies to 4.7 million bpd by 2021.

Iran used to sell around 800,000 bpd to European buyers before the tightening of international economic curbs in 2011 and 2012. Sanctions curtailed production to around 2.5 million bpd as exports to Europe dropped to zero.

French energy company Total S.A., Italy's Eni and Saras, Russia's Lukoil, Spanish refiner Cepsa, Royal Dutch Shell and Hungary’s MOL are among Iran's oil customers.

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