Iran has sold a major cargo of crude oil to Poland, a move which could intensify rivalry with Saudi Arabia and Russia in supplying the markets of northern Europe.
Mohsen Qamsari, the director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has stated that Poland’s Grupa Lotos has bought 2 million barrels of crude from Iran in a one-off purchase.
Qamsari has said that the cargo was loaded at Iran’s Kharg Island last week.
Recently, a supertanker with Iranian crude was heading toward Poland’s Baltic Sea port of Gdansk. This further showed how Iran continues to claw back market share after the lifting of Western sanctions.
The Atlantas Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) left Iran’s main oil export terminal Kharg Island laden with 2 million barrels of crude on June 27.
Nearly wholly dependent on oil from Russia, Polish refiners are taking advantage of the turf war and cheap oil prices to try alternative grades and gain a stronger negotiating position with Russian producers.
Lotos started taking Saudi oil last year – in a development that Moscow called a major challenge – and PKN Orlen recently signed a supply deal with Saudi Aramco, its first long-term deal with a supplier from the Gulf region.
Both companies said they were also interested in running Iranian oil in their refineries, Reuters added.
Apart from Poland, Spain and Italy among other European countries have also recently taken measures to import crude oil from Iran.