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Unipec, National Iranian Oil ink oil supply agreement

Feb. 17, 2012 (China Knowledge) - China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp, or Unipec, a unit of Sinopec Group, the parent co of Asia's largest oil refiner Sinopec<600028><0386>, has signed an agreement in principle with National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) to import crude oil this year, said a person familiar with the matter.

Details of the agreement have yet been disclosed. But a contract inked by the two sides last year indicated that Unipec has rights to import 220,000 barrels of crude oil and 60,000 barrels of condensate per day from NIOC, which has suspended exporting oil to Unipec due to deadlock over a new contract.

Unipec's parent co Sinopec Group has yet commented on the news.

In 2011, Iran's daily oil export to China stood at about 560,000 barrels, sources reported.  

Earlier this year, Iron's daily oil exports to China declined by 250,000 barrels, said Iran's state-run Mehr news agency, adding that the shipments are expected to rebound to more than 500,000 barrels per day in the next few weeks.

China is currently Iran's largest crude oil customer by consuming about one fifth of its oil exports every year.

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