December 12, 2014 / 9:15 AM / 5 years ago

China trader renews deal with Iran for 240,000 bpd crude oil in 2015

* Zhenrong renews 2015 deal at 240,000 bpd, same as 2014

* Sinopec-NIOC contract to be rolled over at 265,000 bpd

By Chen Aizhu

BEIJING, Dec 12 (Reuters) - China’s state-run oil trader, Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, has renewed a pact with National Iranian Oil Company to buy the same volume of Iranian crude supplies in 2015 as it did this year, two industry officials with direct knowledge of the deal said on Friday.

Zhuhai Zhenrong will lift a total of 12 million tonnes, or about 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude, next year.

“We have finalised the numbers, no change from this year,” said one Chinese trading official, who asked not to be identified as the official is not authorised to speak to the media.

Zhenrong, an affiliate of China’s defence authorities in the 1990s, acts largely as an import agent for China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, or Sinopec , whose refineries process Iranian crude.

Sinopec, Asia’s largest oil refiner, has a separate annual contract with NIOC for 265,000 bpd of supplies, chiefly of crude oil, but also a small amount of condensate.

That will be rolled over automatically for next year under an 8-year deal struck early in 2012, said another senior trading official who also asked not to be named.

China’s purchases of an average of 547,000 bpd of Iranian crude in the first 10 months of the year, an increase of a third from a year earlier, make Iran the fastest growing exporter among China’s top oil suppliers.

That was partly because of a new annual contract between Zhuhai Zhenrong and NIOC, which started around August, for condensate produced by Iran’s giant South Pars gas project.

Talks on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, have been extended for seven more months after missing a self-imposed deadline last month to resolve the standoff. (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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