LONDON - Iran has alternatives in place to let it cope with a threatened European Union embargo on its oil and increased US pressure, and plans to keep up exports of some 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, a senior Iranian oil official said.
EU governments have reached a preliminary agreement to ban imports of Iranian crude to the European Union but have yet to decide when such an embargo would be put in place, EU diplomats said on Wednesday.
Tehran had already considered different routes if that were to happen, S. M. Qamsari, International Director of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), told Reuters by telephone from Tehran shortly before the report on the EU stance emerged.
"We could very easily replace those customers," said Qamsari. Some, but not all, of any displaced volume could move into China as well as other Asian countries and Africa, he said. Iran was unlikely just to store crude on tankers as that was only a short-term solution.