TEHRAN, May 11 (UPI) -- The Iranian Oil Ministry said the private sector can now sell as much as 400,000 barrels of oil per day on the international market to get around sanctions.
New Delhi, one of Iran's largest oil consumers, has faced difficulties this year in purchasing Iranian crude oil because of economic sanctions targeting the Islamic republic's Central Bank.
Hassan Khosrojerdi, director of the Iranian Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters Union, said the Oil Ministry gave the private sector the rights to sell 400,000 barrels of oil per day on the international market.
"The Iranian official pointed to the sanctions against Iran's Central Bank, which handles oil sales, saying the exports of crude oil by the domestic private sector would ease this (sanctions) restriction," Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.
The National Iranian Oil Co. is excluded from the measure and private entities may only sell to foreign refineries, the director added.
Iran sits at the top of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in terms of oil production and exports. OPEC, in its monthly report for May, said crude oil production from member states averaged 31.62 million barrels per day last month, indicating a rise in production from Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Angola. Iranian crude output decreased, however.