An oil drilling rig 311.
(photo credit: Andrea De Silva / Reuters)
PARIS - France will stop importing Iranian oil at a national level as part of a proposal it made to its allies to consider ending purchases from the world's fifth largest producer, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
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Asked by Reuters whether the French government would force French oil major Total to stop its crude shipping business with Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a written answer, posted on the ministry's website:
"The interruption of Iranian oil purchases is among the measures
proposed by France to its partners. We will apply this at a national
France turned to Iranian oil in the first half of the year to make up
for disruption during the Libyan war. Last year, Iran supplied 2.8
percent of French oil imports, or 1.8 million tons.
In the seven months to July this year, it supplied 1.6 million tons or about 55,000 barrels per day.
European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Wednesday
that a ban on Iranian oil imports to press Tehran to abandon its
nuclear activity would not be a problem for the EU. "It can be
substituted by OPEC and others," he told Reuters.
On Tuesday the head of the National Iranian Oil Company said he had no
fear of losing EU markets and that Iranian exports to the European Union
were relatively small, with other countries willing to buy.