Shell Can Resume Crude Import

Shell Can Resume Crude ImportShell Can Resume Crude Import

Oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell has paid its outstanding debt to Iran, effectively paving the way to resume oil imports from the Persian Gulf country, an official at the Oil Ministry said.

“Shell’s debt to Iran has been cleared and negotiations are underway to receive the rest of the blocked oil revenues,” said Ali Asghar Hendi, head of a department for settling Oil Ministry’s oil dues. The Anglo-Dutch firm took in crude oil from Iran before sanctions, but was unable to pay its dues because of financial embargos against the Persian Gulf country, which targeted its nuclear program.

At the end of 2014, Shell owed Iran $2.1 billion. Iranian officials said in March that Shell had cleared its outstanding debt by making a €1.77 billion ($1.9 billion) payment to the state-run National Iranian Oil Company.

Iran started to gain access to its multibillion dollar oil dues after most western sanctions against it were lifted in January following a historic agreement with six world powers last year that placed time-bound limits on Tehran’s nuclear program.

A Shell spokesperson said in a statement last month the company is “interested in exploring the role Shell can play in developing Iran’s energy potential within the boundaries of applicable laws”.

In related news, more than 20 supertankers have berthed at Iran’s oil terminals, especially Kharg Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf, since the beginning of the new Iranian year on March 20, managing director of Iran Oil Terminals Company said on Monday.

“Notwithstanding extreme weather conditions in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s oil export has not screeched to a halt and very large crude carriers have berthed at Kharg Oil Terminal regularly,” Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Mousavi said that in line with oil industry’s strategic policies to export oil under any conditions and in order to prevent the overflow of reservoirs as well as shortening the VLCCs’ loading time, supertankers are being berthed continuously round the clock in oil terminals.

“Neither poor weather conditions nor strong winds spiraling inward and upward can disrupt Iran’s oil export,” he said. Last week, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced that Iran’s oil and gas condensates’ exports have exceeded 2 million barrels per day. Iran wants to produce 4.7 million bpd of oil in the sixth five-year development plan (2016-21).