Officials from the National Iranian Oil Company. Image courtesy of National Iranian Oil Company.

Chinese energy officials will meet with their Iranian counterparts this week to discuss oil sales and Chinese investment in Iran’s oil and gas industry.

Iranian deputy oil minister Amir-Hossein Zamaninia told Reuters that officials will visit Beijing to discuss China’s oil and gas projects in Iran.

Representatives from state owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) are also set to meet with Sinopec’s trading arm Unipec and other Chinese crude customers.

Officials have declined to comment on whether Iran will market more oil to China.

China is currently the largest purchaser of Iranian oil, buying about half of the country’s one million barrel per day output.

The meetings follow a historic nuclear framework deal between Iran and the international community that is set to lift oil and economic sanctions against the oil rich country.

The sanction-ending deal has stoked concerns that Iranian oil will flood already swollen global crude inventories.

According to OPEC Iran currently produces about 3.5 million barrels of crude per day.

Western sanctions against Iran have restricted crude exports to 1 million barrels a day from a high of 2.5 million barrels per day since 2012.

Iran hopes to boost crude exports by as much as one million barrels per day once the sanctions are officially lifted but it is still unclear if the country will find buyers.

“It depends first on the willingness of the Chinese for buying Iranian crude, then everything goes through commercial negotiations,” NIOC director of international affairs Mohsen Ghamsari told Reuters.

A final nuclear agreement is expected by June 30.




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