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NIOC Billing Oil Export in Euros

NIOC Billing Oil Export in EurosNIOC Billing Oil Export in Euros

Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is also billing new crude sales in euros, as the country looks to reduce its dependence on the US dollar following last month's sanctions relief.

A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Company told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil.

"In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery," the NIOC source said.

Lukoil and Total declined to comment, while Cepsa did not respond to a request for comment.

Iran has also told its trading partners who owe it billions of dollars that it wants to be paid in euros rather than US dollars, said the person, who has direct knowledge of the matter.

The Islamic Republic was allowed to recover some of the funds frozen under US-led sanctions in currencies other than dollars, such as the Omani rial and UAE dirham.

Switching oil sales to euros makes sense as Europe is now one of Iran's biggest trading partners.

"Many European companies are rushing to Iran for business opportunities, so it makes sense to have revenue in euros," said Robin Mills, chief executive of Dubai-based Qamar Energy.

The NIOC source said Iran's central bank instituted a policy while the country was under sanctions to carry out foreign trade in euros.

"Iran shifted to the euro and cancelled trade in dollars because of political reasons," the source said.

Financialtribune.com