Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 6
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The oil deal between French oil and gas company Total and Iran will come into force on Feb. 16, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.
Total will purchase 160,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude oil under the signed contract, Zanganeh said, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Feb. 6.
Before sanctions were imposed in 2012 on Iran, EU was importing about 800,000 barrels of Iranian oil and condensate.
On Jan. 16, the US and the EU announced that they lifted their nuclear-related sanctions against Iran as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, aka nuclear deal) came into force. The removal of the sanctions allows Iranian oil and gas enter the global markets.
Zanganeh further said that Iran and Total have reached a preliminary agreement on participation of the company in Iranian oil and gas projects.
The French company has expressed readiness to participate in the development of Iran's South Azadegan oil field, as well as the "Iran LNG" project, Zanganeh said, adding Iran will provide the needed information for the company to study the projects and submit its proposals.
The Iranian minister further said that in the coming days Tehran will also sign a contract with Italian Eni to sell its crude oil.
The company's representatives will visit Tehran in the near future to sign the contract, Zanganeh said, adding Eni has requested to purchase 100,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude oil.
He further said that Italy's Saras SpA refinery wants to buy 60,000-70,000 barrels per day of crude from Iran as well.
The refinery was one of Iran's crude costumers before toughening of the international sanctions against Iran in 2012.
Zanganeh underlined that Iran's crude oil sales to Europe will surpass 300,000 barrels per day once the aforementioned contracts come into force.
Last month, Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum also agreed to buy crude oil from Iran.
Hellenic Petroleum was a major buyer of Iranian crude, which accounted for about 20 percent of the southeast European country's annual crude oil imports before the sanctions were imposed in 2011.