ELPE, Iran’s NIOC strike deal for immediate crude oil supply

Greek oil refinery ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) struck a long-term crude supply deal with the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in Athens today following a series of meetings in the Greek capital and Tehran.

NIOC, now back in the international picture following last Sunday’s lifting of western sanctions imposed on Iran in 2011, will immendiately begin supplying crude to ELPE, according to a statement released following today’s between top-ranked officials representing both sides.

ELPE and NIOC, old trading partners, forged a new deal after agreeing on the level and payback terms of a disputed amount owed by the Greek refinery to NIOC from prior to the western-imposed sanctions. The amount had been left unpaid as a result of the suspension of banking transactions when the sanctions were imposed on Iran. Factors such as fluctuating exchange rates had prompted the dispute as to the actual amount owed.

Prior to today’s agreement, ELPE had contended the amount was worth roughly 600 million dollars. The final amount agreed to was not disclosed in the statement released following the deal. ELPE’s administration expressed satisfaction over the deal, noting it is mutually beneficial.

Iran was supplying between 20 and 30 percent of Greece’s crude oil needs before being barred from international trade as a result of the sanctions.