The bulk of international sanctions targeting Iran were lifted in January and the country’s crude output has soared by 790,000 b/d since December 2015 to 3.68mn b/d in November. Exports of crude oil and condensate meanwhile have more than doubled, from around 1mn b/d at the start of the year to nearly 2.5mn b/d in November. As well as greater volumes, Iran has widened its customer base thanks to the ending of an EU embargo on Iranian oil imports in January.

Poland’s PKN is the latest European firm to sign up to lift Iranian crude volumes. The firm this week confirmed that it has bought a 1mn barrel cargo, and shipping data shows that it has chartered the Vilamoura tanker to lift the volumes from Kharg Island on 28 December. PKN is not the first Polish firm to purchase crude from post-sanctions Iran, with Grupo Lotos buying 2mn barrels in August; Grupo Lotos is currently negotiating a long term sales contract with Iran. (CONTINUED - 683 WORDS)