Iran has started direct sales of oil to domestic and international buyers through its energy bourse in what appears to be a landmark strategy to dodge the impacts of returning sanctions. Buyers were able to purchase as much as 280,000 barrels of Iranís light oil at an average price of $74.85 in the first day of trading.
They would have to pay 20 percent of the total value of their purchases in Iranís national currency Ė the Rial. The remaining payments would need to be made in foreign currencies after loading.
The base price set by the Ministry of Petroleum stood at $79.15 per barrel.
Seyyed Ali Hosseini, the managing director of Iranís Energy Bourse, said sales of oil would be carried out at least once a week.
The Iranian first vice president says Tehran is looking for solutions to continue selling its crude oil after the re-imposition of the US sanctions.
The administration of US President Donald Trump is preparing to launch the second wave of sanctions against Iran from November 4 in which a universal ban on the countryís oil exports appears to be a primary objective.
However, Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected the feasibility of this, stressing those international consumers cannot afford to lose Iranian supplies.
Iranís First Vice President Esíhaq Jahangiri was quoted by media as saying that the government of President Hassan Rouhani had already devised mechanisms to counter the impacts of returning US sanctions against the countryís oil exports.
Jahangiri emphasized that Iran had serious plans to maintain oil exports above one million barrels per day.
Iran says the US can never prevent it from selling crude oil to international clients, stressing that no other supplier can substitute the kind of oil it provides to overseas markets.
A total of one million barrels were put up for the grabs at the start of trading on Sunday. The purchases were made in eight cargoes by three companies, it added without providing further details.
Buyers would have to pay 10 percent of the value of their purchases in Rials two hours before the start of trading. They can either buy 35,000 barrels of oil or a multiplication of this up to a ceiling of one million barrels.
Hosseini was quoted by media as saying that there is no restriction for the participation of buyers in Iranís oil sales.