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Royal Dutch Shell has restarted purchasing crude oil from Iran, according to trade sources and ship-tracking data cited by Reuters.
The company’s resumption of business with the Middle Eastern country makes it the second oil major after the French firm Total to do so since international sanctions on Iran were lifted earlier this year.
Iran’s crude exports have reached to 2.5 million barrels-per-day since sanctions were lifted as a condition to the nuclear deal.
The country has been trying to win back its lost market share in the global energy sector. Re-establishing relations with Shell, a major oil buyer, will help the country to regain its footing in markets.
Shell declined to comment at the request of Reuters.
Shipping data shows that Shell had hired the Suezmax Tanker Delta Hellas to transport 130,000 tonnes of crude from Khark Island to continental Europe in a journey that will begin on July 8th.
Reuters sources said the crude would unload in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Shell had owed Iran money before the sanctions came into effect in 2006, but the firm paid the due amount earlier this year.
Iranian crude had entered European refineries in Spain, Greece and Italy, in addition to France through Total’s business dealings.
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Tehran’s road to recovery has led to heightened tensions with its regional rival Saudi Arabia, the country that heads the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and demands that Iran participate in any agreements to lower outputs to combat low oil prices.
Iran’s president and oil minister have said they will not agree to limits on production while its oil sector rebuilds capacity.
Two OPEC meetings this year - one in April and another in June - failed to agree on a production freeze as many of its members, especially its African and Latin American ones, suffered the political effects of an unstable economy.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…