Source: Tehran Times
Analyst Eugen Weinberg of Commerzbank said sanctions would most affect Italy, Spain, and Greece, the three Euro-zone nations that are in the grip of severe debt problems.
"After all, crisis-ridden Italy, Spain, and Greece rely on oil from Iran; an embargo would force them to source their oil requirements elsewhere at considerably higher prices," Weinberg said.
"Maybe the aim of sanctions is to help Italy, Spain, and Greece to collapse and make the EU a smaller club," said one trader, as efforts toward an EU-wide ban on Iran oil supply come under continued debate.
Last month, Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said sanctions recently imposed against his country by the U.S., the UK, and Canada will present global oil markets with problems in securing oil of equal quality and quantity.
"Taking into account the quality of Iranian oil and Iran's second top ranking in terms of oil production, the consumers cannot be provided oil with such a quality. So, there is no alternative for Iranian oil supply," Qasemi said.
Eni SPA Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said tighter sanction on Iran could cost the Italian firm as much as $2 billion in crude oil owed to it by National Iranian Oil Co., Oil and Gas Journal reported.
"We are more worried about the payments of crude that NIOC are making to us for our previous activities," said Scaroni, referring to billions of dollars worth of contract work undertaken by Eni during 2001-09.
However, Scaroni also expressed the belief that the payment in kind would be exempt from any sanctions regimes at the moment, saying, "We feel that this will be exempt from any ban. We feel there is a difference between importing crude and receiving crude."
"Yes, there is a problem in the quality of crude so we should make some shifts," Scaroni said, adding that Iran's crude makes up about 15% of Italy's oil imports.
Scaroni's view is similar to other analysts who said EU sanctions on Iran's oil exports will hurt European refiners that rely on the country's crude, particularly Greece, Italy, and Spain.
Analyst Manouchehr Takin of the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) research group said the absence of Iranian oil exports would hurt Europe more than it would Tehran.
Takin said refineries in Greece, Italy and Spain would suffer financially because they cannot easily replace Iranian crude with other crude.
Takin noted in particular that refineries in Europe-especially those in Italy, Spain, and Greece, which are having financial problems-would suffer more than Iran would in its search for other customers.
In the event of EU sanctions, Takin said Tehran could find customers elsewhere for its oil but would probably have to accept lower prices.
He noted in particular that Iran has about 2.3 million b/d in exports, mostly in Asia, the Far East, and China, and that the Middle Eastern country would try to sell more oil into those markets.
... Payvand News - 12/11/11 ... --