Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Iran sells oil on exchange in bid to counter sanctions

Iran sells oil on exchange in bid to counter sanctions

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Iranian vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri gives an interview in Tehran last year. In July, he came up with a plan to sell oil to private companies on the energy exchange. ATTA KENARE/AFP

Iran sells oil on exchange in bid to counter sanctions

Iran sold oil to private buyers through its energy exchange for the first time on Sunday, as part of its efforts to counter the imminent return of US sanctions.

Only 280,000 barrels were sold out of one million offered, and went for $74.85 per barrel, more than $4 below the initial asking price.

The identity of the buyer remained a secret, with the conservative Fars news agency saying only that a conglomerate of private firms had made the purchase through three brokerages.

The US is set to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s oil industry on November 5, following President Donald Trump’s decision to walk out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May.

The plan to sell oil to private companies on the energy exchange was floated back in July by first vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri with the aim of “defeating America’s efforts to stop Iran’s oil exports.”

The government hopes selling to private buyers, rather than direct to foreign clients, will make it harder for the US to monitor and stop its sales.

“With the imminent return of a new wave of sanctions, the government is determined to utilise the manoeuvring ability of the private sector to sell Iran’s oil and find new markets,” Hamidreza Salehi, director of Iran’s energy exports federation, told semi-official news agency ILNA.

Some estimates show Iran’s crude exports have already dropped by a third since May when it was selling around 2.5 million barrels per day.

The government currently intends to offer oil on the energy exchange once a week, according to Fars.

Its initial base price on Sunday was $79.16, but it received limited bids as much as $16 lower as trading began, the exchange’s website showed.

The final buyer only emerged after the base price was dropped to $74.85 in the closing hours.

The head of Iran’s securities and exchange organisation, Shapour Mohammadi, promised on Friday that the identity of the buyer would not be revealed.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t slams NGO over 2019 corruption report

    The government on Thursday slammed a report that described the Kingdom as highly corrupt. Government spokesperson Phay Siphan dismissed the latest Transparency International (TI) report as “just an advertisement of NGOs to promote their own interests”. Released on Thursday, the report puts Cambodia near the