Saturday, February 6, 2016

Iranian Oil: Europe to Import At Least 300,000 Barrels/Day; Iran Says "No Petrodollars, Please"

First up, Bloomberg via gCaptain:

Iranian Crude – Europe To Import 300,000+ Barrels A Day
Iran will start sending 300,000 barrels a day of crude to Europe, 54 percent of the total it shipped before authorities on the continent put an embargo in place.

Paris-based Total SA has agreed to buy about 160,000 barrels a day starting on Feb. 16, the ministry of oil’s Shana website reported, citing Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. The company also expressed interest in developing the South Azadegan oil field in western Iran near the border with Iraq and in a liquid natural gas project, Shana reported. Total asked for the necessary information to submit a proposal for the LNG plant.

The move shows Iran’s determination to fulfill promises to re-establish its relationship with European clients who halted purchases in 2012 after the European Union imposed an embargo on imports. The ban ended last month when Iran completed the conditions of a nuclear deal with world powers.
Europe, excluding Turkey, imported 550,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude before the sanctions, according to data compiled by Petromatrix. Spanish refiner Compania Espanola de Petroleos and Russia’s Lukoil PJSC have also provisionally booked cargoes of Iranian crude to sail from Kharg Island to European ports in the next two weeks, according to shipping reports compiled by Bloomberg....MORE
And from Reuters, Feb. 5:

Exclusive - Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales - source
Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month's sanctions relief.

A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa CPF.GQ and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil.

"In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery," the NIOC source said.

Lukoil and Total declined to comment, while Cepsa did not respond to a request for comment. 
Iran has also told its trading partners who owe it billions of dollars that it wants to be paid in euros rather than U.S. dollars, said the person, who has direct knowledge of the matter....MORE
In early January Iran and India jointly announced they would be settling trades in rupees.
From the Indian Express:

Iran, India to settle outstanding crude oil dues in rupees 
 Ditching the dollar, Iran and India have agreed to settle all outstanding crude oil dues in rupees in preparation to future trade in their national currencies.

The dollar dues — $6.5 billion equaling 55 per cent of oil payment — would be deposited in National Iranian Oil Co account with Indian banks.

 Sources said work was underway to amend the agreement with Iran to allow entire crude oil payment to be made in rupees.

“Finance Ministry is moving a Cabinet note on withholding tax exemption on oil payments,” they said. Since 2013, Indian refiners have been depositing 45 per cent of their oil payments to Iran in rupees with UCO Bank and withholding the remainder after a payment route through Turkey’s Halkbank was stopped under US and European sanctions....MORE
Additionally, by accepting renminbi*, Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia as China's largest foreign supplier with both exporters bouncing between 13%-16% of China's imports.
From Business Insider Feb. 2:

Russia is now China's biggest oil partner — and it's a huge problem for Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has long trumped Russia in the Chinese oil market.

The Saudi share of Chinese crude imports at the beginning of the decade was about 20%, while Russia's was below 7%, according to data cited by RBC Capital Markets....

*China Daily, June 4, 2015: "Yuan to be used for Sino-Russia oil trade"