Iran is struggling to reenter key markets since the removal of sanctions last month. The country announced that it is offering to exchange oil exports for imports of refined fuel because some European customers are unable to find banks to process payments, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
According to three officials who spoke to Bloomberg, the National Iranian Oil Co. has resorted to bartering because financial sanctions still impede trade. Hellenic Petroleum SA, the Greek refiner that received around a quarter of its oil from Iran prior to EU sanctions, cannot secure deliveries as banks will not process payments, two other sources told Bloomberg.
Earlier this month, Iran exported its first oil shipment to Europe since 2012 to France’s Total. Top oil officials have repeatedly said the country intends to boost exports by 1 M/bd in 2016.
The two sources told Bloomberg that several European banks approached by Hellenic have refused to handle Iran-linked deals. This has impeded a January 22 deal the company entered to resume purchases of Iranian oil.
Bloomberg reports that even after the P5+1 nuclear deal, some U.S. sanctions on Iran remain in effect. In 2014, U.S. regulators levied fines on several European banks for processing transactions to countries under U.S. sanctions- such as Iran, Sudan and Cuba.