China continues to import 460,000 barrel of crude oil per day from Iran. (photo: Reuters)
Chinese state oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the world's largest lifter of Iranian crude by company, has agreed with National Iranian Oil Co to buy 240,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude for 2011.
Sinopec Corp , Asia's top refiner and the country's ultimate dominant procecessor of Iranian oil, separately agreed to take 220,000 bpd of oil from NIOC for this year, a volume steady with last year.
"No change in volume, no change in the grades of oil supplies. All is the same as last year," said the source, referring to the Zhenrong-NIOC agreement.
Zhuhai Zhenrong supplies the bulk of the 240,000-bpd oil to refineries run by Sinopec Corp and a small amount of roughly 20,000 bpd to PetroChina, China's second-largest refiner.
Iran, China's No.3 crude supplier after Saudi Arabia and Anogla, exported 19.59 million tons of crude to China in the first 11 months of 2010, or nearly 430,000 bpd, down 9.6 per cent over the year-earlier period, according to Chinese customs.