Iran Seeks New Oil Customers
Iran has told Pakistan it can supply 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day, adding that it would allow three months to pass before installment payments are due.
Erfan Ghazi, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Oil and Energy Ministry, told Reuters that the proposal is still in the preliminary stages of consideration.
According to Ghazi, a ministry delegation will travel from Pakistan to Iran on March 25 to follow up on the proposal.
Pakistan is faced with energy shortages, and many of its large cities have to deal with regular daily blackouts that last for hours.
The European Union has decided to impose an oil embargo on Iranian oil in response to concern from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear program might have a military component. Beginning July 1, 2012, EU member states will no longer purchase oil from Iran. According to Iranian sources, 18 percent of Iran’s oil exports were sold in Europe, with the top customers being Greece, Italy and Spain.
Iran has reacted with defiance to the European oil embargo, saying it will easily find other customers for its oil.
Iran’s top oil customers are China, India and Japan, and they have rebuffed U.S. calls to join the oil embargo on Iran. However, there have been reports of insurance difficulties for ships that carry Iranian oil affected by U.S. and EU sanctions.
Most recently, following considerable efforts by the U.S., there have been some indications that Iran’s Asian customers may be seeking a 10-percent reduction in their oil imports from Iran. However, U.S. Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton said this week that the U.S. realizes some countries are not in a position to suddenly reduce their oil imports from Iran. She added that the U.S. will assist countries seeking a replacement for Iranian crude.