Iran rejects selling oil to Swiss Vitol on discount
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 29
By Fatih Karimov – Trend:
Iran has rejected reports on selling crude oil to Switzerland-based Vitol company on “a special discount.”
Iran sells crude oil to the European company only as a spot cargo, Mohsen Qamsari, the director for international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said, Mehr news agency reported Oct. 29.
The NIOC has not signed any deal with Vitol on crude oil and gas condensates sale, Qamsari said, adding that no special discount was offered to the European company.
Earlier, Fars news agency reported that the NIOC plans to sign a deal with Vitol to sell crude oil and gas condensates on a discount for two years.
In exchange, the European company will give Iran a loan with “high interest rate”, Fars reported last month citing an informed source.
Asked about the loan, which is speculated to be $1 billion, Qamsari said he has no information on the issue.
He further said Iran also sells oil products, including diesel and fuel oil to Vitol based on market price.
“Iran sells crude oil as well as oil products to the company on prepaid basis in the form of spot deal,” Qamsari underlined.
Switzerland’s Vitol remains as one of the world’s largest traders of oil and gasoline and it had been one of the buyers of Iranian crude oil before the imposition of international sanctions.
Three Swiss companies – Glencore, Vitol and Trafigura – were the largest gasoline exporters to Iran before the sanctions, providing 35 percent of Iran’s gasoline demand while the process was halted due to pressures form the European Union.
The NIOC has recently signed an agreement with Vitol for buying gasoline. Vitol has also expressed interest in crude oil swap with Caspian states through Iran’s Neka oil terminal.
An expert delegation from Vitol has visited the oil terminal to study the issue, Hamid Reza Shahdoust, director of Iran's North Oil Terminal, said in August.