Iran agrees to supply crude oil to Greece’s Hellenic Petroleum as sanctions end
The National Iranian Oil Company of Iran has signed an agreement to supply oil to Greece’s main oil refiner, Hellenic Petroleum, after lifting sanctions.
The deal is the first Iranian crude sale to a European country following lifting of the international trade sanctions.
Under the terms of the deal, the firm also agreed to settle the amount owed to Iran's state oil company.
The Wall Street Journal cited analysts as saying that Hellenic Petroleum is estimated to have around €500m to €600m debt to National Iranian Oil for the oil purchased before the sanctions over its nuclear program were imposed in 2011.
The deal has been signed following a meeting held between Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister Amir-Hossein Zamaninia and his Greek counterpart Panos Skourletis.
During the meeting, the two countries discussed potential energy co-operation as well as issues including oil supplies, natural gas and renewable energy.
Skourletis was cited by Reuters as saying: "They (Iran) are positively disposed towards Greece and think that Greece can be the European conduit for them to re-enter the market.
"They (Iran) said that the debt (settlement) can open the way so that our cooperation is boosted."
Deliveries of the cured oil is planned to commence immediately as per the new deal. Terms of the agreement were undisclosed.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, Europe had been the second biggest oil customer for Iranian crude oil prior to imposing sanctions.
In 20111, Europe purchased nearly 600,000 barrels a day from Iran.
Additionally, Greece was one of the biggest importers in Europe. The country purchased about 120,000 barrels a day in 2011, according to the International Energy Agency.
Following lifting of sanctions on Iran, European oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Total have shown interest to invest in developing Iranian oil reserves.
Image: The US Energy Information Administration estimates that Europe purchased nearly 600,000 barrels a day from Iran in 2011. Photo: courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.