Since lifting of the sanctions from Iran in mid-January 2016, Islamic Republic of Iran sold four oil tankers with a total of 4 million barrels of oil to the European consumers, Reuters reported quoting Iranian official sources and data of monitoring of offshore cargo transportation. According to Reuters, French Total, Spanish Cepsa and Russian Litasco, LUKoil’s trading division, were among the buyers.
The first tanker with Iranian oil arrived in Europe on March 6, 2016. It was unloaded in the Spanish port Alhesiras. Bloomberg agency reported that this year local oil refinery expects eight more oil deliveries from Iran till the end of the month.
Reuters reported that many of the previous big customers, such as Shell, Eni, Hellenic Petroleum, Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura, have not resumed the purchase yet.
In February 2016 Iranian oil sale to the Asian markets increased by about 100,000-120,000 barrels a day, reported Reuters. Among the main obstacles for intensification of the European direction are limitation of currency operations in US dollars, lack of the mechanism of non-USD sales and banks’ unwillingness to issue a letter of credit, which would have significantly simplified the trade.