Iran seeks more oil co-op with China after nuke deal
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 8
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
After Iran's nuclear talks lead to an agreement, the country's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh is to lead an oil delegation to China in a bid to boost Iran's oil export and attract Chinese investors to projects back in home.
Deputy Oil Minister in Trade and International Affairs Amir Hossein Zamani Nia has said that in their visit to China, he and his colleagues will discuss Iran-China oil projects, ISNA news agency reported April 8.
Other officials from the Iranian National Petroleum Company will hold talks with giant Chinese oil customers during the visit.
China is Iran's biggest trade partner. It absorbed half of Iran's crude export in 2012 when international sanctions on Tehran were tightened.
Last year, Iran-China trade turnover hit $52 billion, which is expected to surpass $55 billion this year (Iranian calendar year from March 21, 2015 to March 20, 2016).
It is expected that the Iranian officials will hold talks with traditional customers China International United Petroleum & Chemicals Co., Ltd. (UNIPEC), a wholly-owned subsidiary to China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) which is Asia's biggest oil refinery corporation. Sinopec started buying Iranian oil in the 1990's.
According to Chinese customs reports, Iran was the sixth largest oil exported to the Asian country in 2014.
In 2014 Iran's crude export to China rose by 28 percent compared to 2013 to hit 27.46 million metric tons, about 550 thousand barrels per day.
Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) are holding talks on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
The sides have agreed to come to a comprehensive deal by July 1. Iran maintains that any deal would require the lifting on all sanctions on its economy.
Iran, which has 9.3 percent of the world's crude-oil reserves, has seen its production and export capacity sharply curtailed by sanctions.