Spain says imports less Iran crude, more Nigerian
Spain's crude imports from Iran dropped in January, while its supplies from Nigeria and Iraq rose sharply, just as the European Union imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, official data showed on Monday, Reuters reported.
In its latest monthly bulletin, strategic hydrocarbons reserve board CORES estimated Spain had imported 279,000 tonnes of crude oil from Iran, a drop of 31 percent from December.
As a proportion of total imports, Iranian crude fell to 6 percent in January from 9.5 percent in December, which compares with around 14 percent in previous months.
Spain, which needs to import virtually all of its crude, ramped up imports in January from Nigeria, Iraq and Libya, where production has been returning to normal after last year's civil war.
The European Union imposed sanctions on Iran on Jan. 23 over the Islamic republic's nuclear programme, although importers have until July 1 to execute previously signed contracts.
Trade sources say they expect Spain's crude imports from Iran to have dropped further in February.
Spain's biggest refiner, Repsol, has repeatedly declined to comment on details of its oil purchases, but in February the government said the country's two biggest oil companies had arranged to switch imports from Iran to Saudi Arabia, Russia and, to a lesser extent, Iraq.
Cepsa, Spain's No. 2 refiner, has said it plans to source crude from the United Arab Emirates.
Repsol has the capacity to refine 890,000 barrels per day and Cepsa, which is owned by Abu Dhabi investment vehicle IPIC, 430,000 bpd.