Hungary’s MOL looking for alternative oil grades from Iran
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 5
By Umid Niayesh – Trend:
MOL Group, a leading international integrated oil and gas company from Hungary, has confirmed the purchase of Iranian heavy crude oil.
Speaking to Trend Oct. 5, Judit Nemeth, an official with the MOL, said that since 2014, MOL has been actively looking for alternative crude grades with seaborne delivery as part of its optimization measures and to capture additional margin opportunistically if and when crude differentials are favorable.
“Since the sanctions against Iran are lifted, Iranian crude has become part of these alternative crude grades MOL is actively considering for using in its refineries,” she added.
Nemeth further said that as a first step, MOL completed the reconstruction of the Friendship I/Adria Oil Pipeline in February 2015, which is technically capable of covering the full crude intake of the landlocked refineries.
“Based on our previous evaluation we see a great potential in crude oil import through the recently extended Adriatic pipeline and expect 13-16 cargos this year from seaborne sources,” she added.
Nemeth also said the MOL imports most of its crude demand from Russia, but it is also buying about 20 percent from other sources via the Adriatic pipeline this year, however, the majority of its crude intake is expected to remain the Ural type oil.
According to traders and shipping data, MOL has commissioned a cargo of 140,000 tons of Iranian heavy crude oil for Oct. 23. The cargo will be delivered from Iran's Kharg Island terminal to Croatian port of Omisalj.
Meanwhile, Mohsen Qamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said Oct. 1 that the NIOC finalized a deal to export a 1-million-barrel oil cargo to Hungary the next month.
Negotiations for crude export to Hungary launched in early 2016.
In mid-July, Qamsari said the MOL called for importing 40,000 barrels of light crude oil per day from Iran. However, at the time, he said Tehran was not ready to provide MOL with light crude.