NIOC Not Ready to Export Oil to Hungary

NIOC Not Ready to Export Oil to HungaryNIOC Not Ready to Export Oil to Hungary

The Iranian National Oil Company is not ready to provide the Hungarian multinational oil and gas company MOL with light crude.

Mohsen Qamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Compan,y made the statement in response to Hungarian oil officials' request to import oil from the Persian Gulf state, Mehr News Agency reported.

Commenting on serious negotiations with MOL, the official added that the Hungarian enterprise has called for importing 40,000 barrels of light crude oil per day from Iran.

Underscoring the fact that NIOC is not prepared to satisfy MOL's needs under the current circumstances, the official added, “Talks are still underway with the European company.”

According to the official, prior to sanctions regime, France, Italy, Spain and England were among Iran's traditional customers. Nonetheless, since sanctions were terminated, East European states have also submitted proposals to purchase oil from Iran.

"During the last few weeks, lots of negotiations have been held with oil companies to export crude to East European states," Qamsari said, noting that the first 1-million-barrel oil cargo sold to Russian Lukoil was sent to Petrotel Refinery in southern Romania.

Asked about other proposals, Qamsari announced that oil companies such as Switzerland's Vitol, Austria' OMV, Hungary’s MOL and refineries from Lithuania, Slovenia, Serbia and Czech Republic have shown interest in signing long-term contracts and importing single oil cargos from Iran.

"Iran is steadily increasing its crude supplies to Europe with the realization of 80% of oil export contracts with European buyers," he said.

"Iran has signed contracts to export between 600,000 barrels and 700,000 barrels per day to its customers in Europe. Eighty-percent of these contracts have come into effect."

Pointing to a Slovenia oil and gas company that opened its office in Iran for the first time, Amirhossein Zamaninia, Iran's deputy oil minister for international and commercial affairs, added that such offices can help facilitate oil business between NIOC and international oil enterprises.

On Iran's plan to diversify its oil target markets, he said plans have been devised to cover markets ranging from East Europe to South Africa and America as well as Asia to ensure that neither oil glut nor drastic plunges in prices can threaten the long-term security of  the country's export policies.

Iran, currently the third-largest producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is raising crude production and exports to wrest back the ground it lost to other producers.

Sanctions cut Iranian crude exports from a peak of 2.5 million bpd before 2011 to just over 1 million bpd. The country’s crude output is now between 3.5 million and 3.8 million barrels a day and exports are close to the pre-sanctions level of 4 million barrels.