China 'teapots' eye Iranian crude in fresh buying frenzy
China's independent refiners, also known as teapots, are set to ramp up crude oil purchases from Iran as they seek to use import quotas before they expire in less than three months, a report says.
According to Bloomberg, crude from Iran stored in tankers offshore Asia is a potential option given that it can be delivered quickly.
Chinese independent processors usually seek to use up quotas so they can apply for comparable volumes in the next year, the financial news provider said.
There are millions of barrels of crude floating off China and around Singapore and Malaysia that include Iranian oil.
Iran's new Minister of Oil Javad Owji said last month that "good things will happen in terms of oil sales in the coming months".
The US imposed its most draconian sanctions on Iran three years ago with the express aim of bringing the country's oil exports down to zero after Washington abandoned an international nuclear deal with Tehran.
No matter how hard it tried, the US did not achieve its goal and Iran continued sending its oil to the market – though in reduced volumes - using innovative ways to bypass the illegal sanctions.
However, the "tyrannical" US sanctions deprived Iran of 1.8 billion barrels of oil exports and more than $100 billion of revenues, Owji told the first OPEC Plus meeting since being named to the new post.
Oil markets are closely watching Vienna negotiations which have been suspended since mid-June, for any clues as to when the OPEC member will be able to resume crude sales.
Owji has said Iran will return to its pre-sanctions crude production level as soon as the US sanctions are removed. Petroleum ministry officials have said they are confident most output could be restored within a month.
Iran's LPG exports are already hovering near two-year highs at around 500,000 tonnes a month.