Although the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and France’s Total have signed an agreement for the daily sale of 150 to 200 crude barrels in Paris at the presence of the two countries’ presidents, Total would not mark Iran’s first oil customer in the post-sanction era.
Accordingly, NIOC inked the first oil sale deal with a European company located in the Mediterranean littoral and it has been estimated that the first European tanker will arrive in Iranian oil terminals by the end of February this year.
Deputy Oil Minister Roknodin Javadi, who refused to mention the name of the destination country in the newly-signed agreement, referred to the approval of the plan to export 2.3 million barrels of crude oil as part of the next year (to begin March 21) budget bill; “the stage of increasing oil production and exports by 500 thousand barrels will soon become fully operational.”
On the other hand, the new oil sale deal signed with a credible European company remains the first after a 4-year pause in the sale of Iranian crude to the European market; meanwhile, several negotiations have been conducted with traditional oil customers in Europe like Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Greece and the UK.
According to Iranian oil officials, the commute of Asian oil tankers particularly Chinese and Japanese ones has increased while the arrival of European oil tankers to Iran’s terminals would definitely not last longer than February.
Over the past few weeks, Iran has signed a number of contracts and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with various European oil firms including Saipem and Naples of Italy, Russia’s Lukoil, France’s Total in addition to some Asian companies.
It has also been estimated that in the year 2016, the sale amount of Iranian crude oil and gas condensate to South Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Turkish refineries will experience growth.
On the basis of a report issued by the OPEC Secretariat, Iran’s oil production has escalated from 2.766 million barrels per day in 2014 to 2.876 million barrels in November 2015 indicating a 110 thousand-barrel climb.