ELPE officials to revisit Iran as end of sanctions nears

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) is on stand-by to resume trade with Iran as the country prepares for western- imposed oil and financial sanctions to soon be lifted. Top-ranked ELPE officials are scheduled to travel to Tehran in several days.

The delegation, to be headed by ELPE managing director Grigoris Stergioulis, plans to be in Tehran for two days of meetings with officials of the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on November 29 and 30.

For quite some time now, ELPE has intended to secure a supply level of about four million barrels of crude per month from NIOC, once the sanctions are lifted, probably early in 2016, if Iran continues to comply with conditions agreed to for its nuclear program.

ELPE’s administration, recently appointed, has already visited Tehran once before and now plans to further consolidate trade plans discussed on the previous mission.

Major international players are focused on Iran’s expected return to trade. Over the past few months, officials representing all major energy companies have paraded through the country, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, in search of deals.

As for an outstanding amount owed by ELPE to NIOC for trading activity conducted prior to the sanctions, the most likely solution will entail payback in installments. The international banking system had refused to complete a transaction covering an order received by ELPE when the sanctions were imposed in 2012. The debt owed by ELPE exceeds 500 million euros.