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Iran finds new oil customers

Feb. 20, 2012 at 7:17 AM   |   Comments

TEHRAN, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- An Iranian official said it was selling crude oil to new customers after opting to stop oil deliveries to British and French companies.

Oil prices rose Monday after Iran announced it was halting exports to some European customers in response to sanctions imposed by the European Union.

"Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped," government spokesman Alireza Nakzad, was quoted by British daily newspaper The Daily Times as saying. "We will sell our oil to new customers."

The European Union said it was placing an embargo on Iranian crude oil as punishment Tehran not being complete open about its nuclear program. Iranian lawmakers responded by backing a measure that would pre-empt the European embargo, which would go into effect starting in July.

European officials said there was enough oil in storage to meet demands for around three months in the event of an Iranian embargo.

The United Kingdom hasn't imported oil from Iran since last year, the newspaper stated. France receives around 75,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran.

Iran is one of the top oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The spokesman didn't offer specifics about the new customer base.

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