Iran has started exporting crude oil to South Africa and Sri Lanka following the easing of sanctions against Tehran as a result of the Geneva nuclear deal, a senior Iranian oil official says.
Oil exports to the two countries are carried out under “single-shipment” contracts for the time being, said Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
Nevertheless, he added, “Iran has no problem with signing long-term contracts with Sri Lanka and South Africa on oil exports.”
The Iranian official also said that major Asian oil refineries, including those in India, China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey have renewed their oil import contracts with Iran.
On May 16, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the country’s crude oil exports had reached 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
Zanganeh had earlier said that Iran would accept no limitations to its oil exports, adding, “The volume of Iran’s oil export is the same as it is supplied in the oil market.”
Under the interim deal of November 2013 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany, the six countries agreed to ease some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. The deal took effect on 20 January this year.
World oil giants, including Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Malaysia’s Petronas, Spain’s Repsol, Russia’s second largest oil producer Lukoil, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni, have shown interest in returning to Iran following the partial sanctions relief.