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BP Buys First Post-Sanctions Oil From Iran

For the first time since sanctions on Iran were lifted in January, BP (NYSE:BP) has bought condensate from state-held National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, quoting an NIOC official.

NIOC will deliver the condensate to BP, which the UK group can process at its own refinery or resell to other users, the NIOC official told Bloomberg by phone.

A BP spokeswoman in London declined to comment on the delivery.

Earlier this week, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Iran had started selling crude to British companies, and “so far, two crude oil and gas condensate cargos have been sold to two companies in the UK.”

Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, NIOC’s executive director for international affairs went on to add that “negotiations are still in progress with companies like Shell or BP to ink long-term oil sale agreements”, according to the Mehr agency.

France’s Total SA (NYSE:TOT) was the first major western company to resume oil deals with Iran in February, a month after sanctions were lifted. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) followed suit by resuming crude oil purchases in June.

Iran has been trying to restore the market share it had lost during the years under sanctions and has vowed to return to pumping 4 million barrels of oil per day.

Earlier this week, Ali Kardor, NIOC’s managing director, said that Iran had officially reached the 4 million bpd crude production mark less than three quarters after reentering global oil markets.

After having shipped first oil to China’s teapots in July, Iran is now seeking additional outlets for its crude and gas in its attempt to restore pre-sanction positions and markets.

What’s more, Iran has been exempted from having to make production cuts within the OPEC deal to limit the cartel’s oil production.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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