China trader, Iran in 1-yr South Pars condensate deal - sources

Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:43am GMT

By Chen Aizhu

BEIJING, June 12 (Reuters) - Chinese state-run oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp has entered a one-year supply agreement to buy Iranian South Pars condensate, in its first term contract for the light crude oil with the Middle East supplier, according to industry officials.

Under the deal, the trader will lift two million barrels of condensate a month from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), according to three sources with knowledge of the agreement.

Tough western sanctions since 2012 reduced Iran's oil exports and crippled its economy by choking the flow of petrodollars, but some of those measures were eased in a diplomatic deal last November in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear activities and shipments have been up from last year.

Zhuhai Zhenrong's condensate agreement - equivalent to about 67,000 barrels per day (bpd) and expected to begin later this year - will be parallel to a contract between state Chinese refiner Sinopec Corp and NIOC for 70,000 bpd South Pars oil under a long-term deal.

Zhuhai Zhenrong would supply the Iranian light oil to Dragon Aromatics, an independently-run petrochemicals producer with a 100,000-bpd condensate splitter at its plant in the southeastern city of Zhangzhou.

"The term supply should commence after Dragon's upcoming turnaround," said one official with direct knowledge of the deal.

Dragon Aromatics, whose $3 billion facility includes two 800,000 tonne-per-year paraxylene plants, is due for a maintenance overhaul for three weeks from mid-August, according to another source.

The sources declined to disclose pricing details, but said the Iranian firm would supply the condensate on a delivered basis using NIOC-chartered tankers.   Continued...

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