Special to WorldTribune.com
Iran insists it is not discounting oil after it sent a shipment of crude to Europe for the first time in five years.
The shipment of 4 million barrels of crude is the first since sanctions on Iran were lifted after the implementation of the nuclear deal with world powers.
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi said the shipment marked “a new chapter” in Iran’s oil industry.
Mohsen Qamsari, a director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company, told the Oil Ministry’s news website SHANA the oil was sold according to market conditions.
“Iran prices its crude oil supplies based on official prices in its new deals and it does not offer discounts to its customers,” Qamsari said on Feb. 15.
The shipment of crude oil blends sold by OPEC members was $26.74 per barrel as of Feb. 12 while the Brent global benchmark for crude oil closed on Feb. 12 at $33.36 per barrel.
Iran denied reports that said it was selling its oil at a discount to win a market share back from rival Saudi Arabia, which SHANA reported was offering “tantalizing discounts” to ensure its dominance in the global market.
Iran said it would add up to 1 million barrels of new oil per day to an already over-saturated market. Crude oil prices are down about 70 percent from mid-2014.
Javadi said Iran has already reached agreement to export oil to France, Russia and Spain.