‘Iran determined to continue offering oil at IRENEX’

July 8, 2019

TEHRAN - National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)’s representative in Iran Energy Exchange (IRENEX) said NIOC will continue offering oil at IRENEX, Mehr news agency reported.

“Offering oil and gas condensate in the international ring of IRENEX has become a legal obligation, and it will definitely be a lasting move,” Amir Hossein Tebyanian said in a press conference hosted by Mehr news agency at the place of the agency on Monday.

Briefing the press about the procedures and processes of NIOC’s oil and gas condensate offerings at IRENEX, the official noted that physical sales of oil at IRENEX is just the first step and the main goal is to activate other financial instruments, and offer Iranian crude in the regional stock markets.

“We will continue offering oil at the IRENEX in order to institutionalize the necessary procedures which are a prerequisite for improving IRENEX to the level of world class stock exchanges.” he said.

According to the official, IRENEX was initially founded in an attempt to permit the Iranian private sector export crude oil since Washington aims to cut Iran's oil sales. 
However now, foreign buyers have also expressed willingness to engage in IRENEX oil offerings and welcoming the idea, NIOC is preparing necessary bases for them to be able to do so.

NIOC offered crude oil at IRENEX first on October 28, 2018 just few days before new U.S. sanctions on Iran’s petroleum sector took effect (November 4). In the first round, NIOC could sell some 280,000 barrels of crude oil at $74.85 per barrel. 

“After two unsuccessful offerings of light crude oil in the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 21), NIOC codified new guidelines for the oil offering which were mainly pertain to pricing and lowering risks for buyers and facilitating purchases.” Tebyanian explained.

Facilitated oil trades in IRENEX

According to the NIOC representative, based on the new guidelines, buyers are offered several incentives and facilitative features including lower prices, the right to stay anonymous, flexible shipping destinations and terminals, no need for authentication and etc.

Tebyanian emphasized that all the information regarding the domestic and foreign buyers will be completely confidential in IRENEX, adding “the buyer’s information will be taken out of stock information systems and will be saved in the physical form.”

The official further mentioned the attractive base prices in oil offerings, saying “Mediterranean oil prices which are most of the time the lowest prices compared to the Asian ones are set as the base price in IRENEX oil deals.”

Delivery and transportation of oil cargoes

Regarding the delivery and transportation of the purchased cargoes Tebyanian explained that “three methods are provisioned for delivery and transportation of crude oil shipments: loading from Kharg export terminal, ship to ship transportation and land transportation through the refinery of Tabriz.”

“Of course, land transportation will be for small cargoes,” he added.

“The purchased cargos can be transported and exported freely to all countries across the globe expect the occupied Palestinian territories by the Zionist regime of Israel.” he noted.

Payment procedures

Regarding the payment procedure, Tebyanian stated applicants have to initially pay six percent of the total value of the contract.

“This prepayment can be in cash or in the form of credit, and in case of credit payments, bidders must provide banking guarantees approved by the National Iranian Oil Company.” he explained.

Asked about the allowed currencies for the purchases, the official noted that NIOC has determined a currency basket which includes Iranian rials, Yuan, Euro and Dirham; while U.S. dollar is not among the accepted currencies.

Tebyanian further explained that Central Securities Depository of Iran (CSDI) has provided necessary facilities for the buyers to be able to pay for their purchase with foreign currencies inside the country and it is also taking necessary measures to make it possible for making payments from abroad.

Asked about the impact of U.S. sanction on the oil sales in IRENEX, the official said offering oil and gas condensates in IRENEX is a fairly new step, and it takes time for the buyers and applicants to adapt their conditions to these offerings. Therefore, the sanctions have not had a particular impact on IRENEX’s acceptance by the foreign customers.

So far 15 rounds of oil (including heavy and light crude) offerings have been held at IRENEX through which 1.1 million barrels of oil was sold, while the six offerings of gas condensate have been concluded with no sales.

EF/MA