January 18, 2016 / 5:23 PM / 2 years ago

Exclusive: Hellenic Petroleum to meet Iran oil officials on Friday - source

ATHENS (Reuters) - Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s biggest oil refiner (HEPr.AT), will meet top Iranian oil officials on Friday to discuss crude oil imports from Iran, a company source said on Monday, after world powers lifted sanctions against Tehran at the weekend.

A view of the Hellenic Petroleum refineries is seen at Aspropyrgos town, west of Athens, February 24, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Hellenic Petroleum was a major buyer of Iranian crude, which accounted for about 20 percent of the company’s total annual crude oil imports before sanctions were imposed.

Sanctions cut Iran’s oil exports by about 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since their pre-sanctions 2011 peak, to little more than 1 million bpd. On Monday, Iran issued an order to raise oil production by 500,000 bpd.

”Since the embargo has been lifted, Hellenic Petroleum can now discuss the possibility of a deal on crude oil supplies and on settling outstanding financial issues between the two sides,” the official said.

Hellenic Petroleum is estimated to owe $550-600 million for oil it bought from Iran but was unable to pay when the international embargo was imposed, a source close to discussions between Iran and Greece told Reuters last month.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia and officials from National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will be in Athens on Friday to meet Hellenic Petroleum executives, an official at Hellenic Petroleum told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Iranian delegation will also meet Greece’s Energy Minister Panos Skourletis on Friday, an energy ministry official said.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Susan Thomas

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