European Countries Joining Iran's Crude Oil Buyers

European Countries Joining Iran's Crude Oil BuyersEuropean Countries Joining Iran's Crude Oil Buyers

The list of Iran's crude oil buyer has expanded noticeably in the last few months.

The list, which had been limited to only five states during the sanctions, has grown significantly, as more European countries are joining the purchasers.

China, South Korea, India, Japan and Taiwan were the only customers of the Persian Gulf country's oil during sanctions, when it was allowed to export less than 1 million barrels of oil per day, IRNA reported.

Reportedly, European countries were completely excluded from the customers' list. Nevertheless, Turkey was the only half-European-Asian state that imported 60,000 barrels per day from Iran.

As the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of the July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, was implemented gradually, more and more countries started to show interest in purchasing oil from Tehran. Iran strove constantly to resume its lost market share from international competitors, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, to name but a few.

Tehran's efforts paid off almost a year after JCPOA's implementation and new customers such as Greece's Hellenic Petroleum, Spain's CEPSA, Italy's Saras and Poland's Lotus resumed ties with the National Iranian Oil Company after a long hiatus.

According to the International Energy Agency, Iran pumped 3.64 million barrels per day in May, just four months after sanctions were lifted.

One-third of Iran's crude has been shipped to China in the current Iranian year that started in March, according to research firm ClipperData, and other top destinations include India, South Korea and Japan.

Tallies for both exports and production show a rise since January, when Tehran set about recouping market share lost under international sanctions that were mostly lifted at the start of the year, Reuters reported.

  Oil Export at 2.7m bpd

Seyyed Mohsen Qamsari, NIOC's director for international affairs, has recently announced that Iran exported 2.74 million barrels of oil and gas condensates per day in July, of which 600,000 barrels were gas condensates.

“Plans have been made not only to maintain crude exports level that currently stands at 2.1 million barrels per day, but also to increase it to pre-sanctions level,” he added.

According to the official, a quarter of Ian's oil is sold to European customers and the rest is delivered to Asian markets. However, gas condensates are only exported to certain destinations in Asia.

Independent oil traders, including Trafigura, Glencore and Vitol, believe that with international vessels supporting Iran's own tanker fleet, its oil exports are now close to pre-sanctions levels of around 2.5 million barrels per day.

Asia is the main destination for crude shipped by foreign vessels, with India, China and Japan the biggest takers, while at least four international tankers are also heading for Europe.

India, in particular, is playing a leading role as its demand soars and refiners such as Essar Oil, Reliance Energy, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp enjoy good ties with Iran. The non-Iranian companies currently chartered to carry its oil include Chinese state-controlled shipper China Shipping Development, PetroVietnam and Japan's Idemitsu Kosan.

Greek, Turkish and Seychelles-owned tankers are also shipping Iranian crude.