SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) Seyed Mohsen Qamsari, National Iranian Oil Company Director for International Affairs told the press that destination, financial capability, and a good reputation were the NIOC’s criteria for customers.
“Until before the sanctions target the Iranian economy and oil industry, Iran had been selling oil to foreign companies according to valid contracts,” added Qamsari, “higher financial and logistical capability, and a good reputation also were to be considered in choosing oil customers.”
Qamsari told the press that conditions had taken effect after approval by the NIOC board of directors. “However, after sanctions which set restrictions on oil sale, the conditions changed drastically,” he said.
“The cabinet drafted the conditions and notified to the oil ministry, and was approved by the minister,” he added.
Qamsari divided Iran’s oil customers to two categories; the first category consisted of traditional refineries in India, China, South Korea, Japan and Turkey, who traditionally imported Iran’s oil; in the second category, he placed ‘refineries with higher operational and financial capacities,’ and NIOC should be ensured about the final destination of its oil.
Due to the difficulties of transfer of financial resources of oil income, he emphasized that customers should pay 5 per cent of the value of oil in advance, with the rest of the value to be paid after loading and before discharging in the buyer country’s terminal. “Iran’s oil price is set according to a formula and in monthly basis,” he said.
In response to a question whether Iran’s oil enjoyed better processing properties compared to Saudi Arabian oil, Qamsari said that currently, “more distillation products such as kerosene and diesel are produced from Iran’s oil than from Saudi Arabian oil,” he said, believing that however, “both crudes are the same in quality and API (American Petroleum Institute) measures of gravity.”
“Iran sets its oil price traditionally after Saudi Arabia, since the country has the lion’s share in world oil market with 9.8 million barrels per day,” he said.