The U.S. has reimposed sanctions on Iran following President TrumpDonald John TrumpArizona GOP Senate candidate defends bus tour with far-right activist Alyssa Milano protests Kavanaugh in "Handmaid's Tale" costume Bomb in deadly Yemen school bus attack was manufactured by USA firm: report MORE's decision to leave former President Obama's 2015 nuclear deal with the nation.
Not the first time Iran used a similar system between 2012 and 2016 to circumvent Western-led sanctions which were effective in curtailing exports because of a lack of insurance for the shipments.
Total later confirmed it had notified the Iranian authorities of its withdrawal from South Pars after it failed to obtain a waiver from US sanctions. Chinese officials say CNPC will take over Total's share in the project, giving them even deeper control in the offshore venture.
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The Total pullout is likely what prompted the Iranian Foreign Ministry to issue a statement urging the European Union to speed up its promised efforts to try to preserve the P5+1 nuclear deal in the absence of the US.
The first round of sanctions, which included cutting off Iran and its trade partners from the United States, went into effect 7 August. So far, a number of European companies have suspended their operations in Iran despite protection promised by Brussels from U.S. penalties.
"Prices are being supported by the prospect of lower oil supply from Iran", Commerzbank said in a note.
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State oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong and refiner Sinopec Group activated a clause in its long-term supply agreements with National Iranian Oil Corp that lets them use NITC-operated tankers, sources told Reuters.
The price for oil under the long-term deals has been changed to a delivered ex-ship basis from the previous free-on-board terms, meaning Iran will cover all costs and risks of delivering the crude as well as handling the insurance, they said. In June, the loadings were 19.8 million barrels, or 660,000 bpd.
Last month, those tankers loaded about 23.8 million barrels of crude oil and condensate destined for China, or about 767,000 barrels per day (bpd).
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In 2017, China imported an average of 623,000 bpd, according to customs data. Insurance usually includes cover for the oil cargoes, third-party liability and pollution.