Reuters: The head of the trading arm of LUKOIL said on Thursday his company Litasco was not selling gasoline to Iran, one day after traders said sales had resumed despite U.S. and European Union sanctions.
GENEVA, Aug 12 (Reuters) – The head of the trading arm of LUKOIL said on Thursday his company Litasco was not selling gasoline to Iran, one day after traders said sales had resumed despite U.S. and European Union sanctions.
“We are not supplying to Iran. We have no existing contracts and we don’t have any joint ventures with Chinese or any other companies to supply gasoline,” Litasco Chief Executive Sergey Chaplygin told Reuters in Geneva.
“We already had a statement in April that we are not supplying any refined products,” and nothing has changed since then, Chaplygin said.
Industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday that LUKOIL’s trading arm Litasco, together with China’s state-run firm Zhuhai Zhenrong, had discharged a 250,000 barrel gasoline cargo at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas last week.
Traders also said the Geneva-based Litasco was expected to ship a second cargo to the Iranian port later this week.
A LUKOIL spokesman said Wednesday that “one-off deliveries (to Iran after it decided to stop the shipments in spring) took place within the frame of previously signed contracts.”
Iran is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter but lacks adequate refining capacity to meet domestic demand for motor fuel, forcing it to import up to 40 percent of its requirements.
As a response to sanctions from Washington and Brussels, which go further than those from the U.N. Security Council, energy companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and Reliance Industries have stopped supplying Iran with gasoline.
Others that have stopped supplies to Iran include Swiss-based traders Glencore and Vitol. (Reporting by Laura MacInnis; Editing by Jonathan Lynn and Alison Birrane)