Leading oil trader: Iran 'winning' on Western sanctions

February 21, 2012 19:13

LONDON - An increase in world oil prices has more than compensated Iran for revenues lost to lower crude exports because of sanctions imposed by the West, the head of the world's leading oil trader said on Tuesday.

Ian Taylor, chief executive of Vitol, said a decline in the value of the euro versus the US dollar had also raised the cost of dollar-denominated oil sales to European Union countries.

"The Iranians now want the price as high as possible as they've got less volumes to sell. I reckon they are probably quite close to winning based on the numbers," said Vitol's chief executive Ian Taylor.

"The politicians are all avoiding the subject at the moment but as you know oil is extremely expensive, especially in euros," he said.

Brent crude traded near $121 a barrel on Tuesday, up from $107 a barrel at the start of the year. A decline in Iranian oil sales since the European Union announced an embargo on Iranian oil imports from July 1 has been a leading factor in the price rise.

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