Iran, China to enhance energy cooperation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh is to travel to China on Wednesday to lay the ground for the further development of Tehran-Beijing energy ties.

The oil minister will be accompanied by his Deputy for international affairs and trading Amir-Hossein Zamaninia and Director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Qamsari.

Iran is currently China’s third largest supplier of crude, providing Beijing with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil consumption.

China imported a record amount of crude oil from Iran in the first half of 2014 amid a loosening of sanctions against Tehran, further increasing Beijing’s reliance on the Middle-East oil supplies.

Chinese customs data showed that Iranian oil imports in the first six months of 2014 were 630,000 barrels a day, up 48% from the same period last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

That is the most crude that China has ever imported from Iran in any first half in history, according to Li Li, the head of research and analytics at consultancy ICIS C1 Energy.

Iran represented about 10% of China’s foreign crude purchases in the first half.

Managing Director of the China office of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Maziyar Hojjati said easing of sanctions against Tehran has contributed to the surge in imports.

By Fars News Agency