Tehran Talks Up Oil Sale to Rosneft

Tehran Talks Up Oil Sale to RosneftTehran Talks Up Oil Sale to Rosneft

Iran has been discussing possible oil sales to top Russian oil producer Rosneft, Russian news agencies quoted a top adviser to Iran's Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as saying in Moscow on Thursday.

"I met the Russian Security Council secretary the day before yesterday. (Igor) Sechin, the head of Rosneft, was present at the meeting," Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency, Reuters reported.

"On the Iranian side, there is a willingness to supply this company corresponding volumes of oil daily," he added.

Rosneft did not immediately comment on the matter.

Iran is on track to raise oil production by 500,000 barrels per day after western sanctions over its nuclear program were lifted last month. Reuters shipping data show that since sanctions were removed, a number of vessels have been tentatively fixed to sail from Tehran to various locations in Europe and the Mediterranean.

Trading sources said Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil, looked set to become the first post-sanctions buyer of Iranian oil in Europe.

Moscow and Iran have previously discussed an oil-for-goods swap, but negotiations petered out after the sanctions were repealed, said Russian officials who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Iran was the second-biggest producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2011 after Saudi Arabia, but was relegated to fifth place after financial and trade embargos cut its crude exports to little more than 1 million bpd from around 2.6 bpd.

Data show Iran's oil exports will rise by more than a fifth in January and February from last year's daily average.

The country's overall exports will total around 1.44 million barrels a day in February and about 1.5 million bpd in January, according to the data on Iran's preliminary tanker loading schedules.