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Return to normal: Iran hikes selling price for all crude grades at record

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Officials say Iran is finding new customers and markets, using different methods in oil contracts.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has reportedly raised the official selling price (SOP) for all its crude grades bound for Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe in an indication of Iran’s return to the market and rising demand for its oil.

According to enemy and commodities information provider S&P Global Commodity Insights,the May SOP for all Asia-bound crude grades has been hiked by $4.30-$4.50 per barrel from April.

It raised the Iranian Light OSP by $4.50 per barrel to a premium of $9.20 to the average of Oman/Dubai assessments, while Iranian Heavy and Forozan have each been raised by $4.30 per barrel to premiums of $7.95 and $8.05, respectively. Price for Soroosh grade has been hiked by $4.40 per barrel to a premium of $4.30 to Oman/Dubai, it said Wednesday, adding the differentials were the highest ever recorded.

For grades bound for the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe, NIOC increased the OSPs by $1.35-$2.95 per barrel.

According to the report, Iranian Light bound for the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe were also offered by a raise of $2.95 per barrel from April to $3.15 and $2.90 per barrel against ICE Brent, respectively.

Energy markets are impatiently awaiting the return of Iran's barrels amid red-hot oil prices.

Officials have said the country is teaming up with new customers to export its oil in defiance of the most draconian sanctions imposed by the United States.

Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji said this month that Iran’s oil production has reached pre-sanction levels. 

Iran, he said, is finding new customers and markets, using different methods in oil contracts, and making use of highly-qualified experts in the field which have helped it ramp up sales.

“The current oil production capacity has reached the pre-sanctions era, meaning the daily figure of over 3.8 million barrels,” he said.

Earlier, Owji had said that Iran’s condensate exports had risen nearly four-fold over the past eight months.

In remarks last month, the minister said the country had managed to increase its oil sales and receive all the revenues despite intensified pressure from Washington to halt the sales by trying to seize Iranian oil tankers.

“We took oil to the places the Americans cannot even think of,” he said.

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