16 September 2016
Venezuela is gradually losing Spain's oil market, as the European country has increased its crude oil import from Iran, the Spanish El Mundo newspaper reported.
Despite having the largest proven hydrocarbon reserves in the world, the Venezuelan government is not able to contain the drop in local production and the country has accumulated nine years of consecutive declines in oil extraction, according to the latest BP Statistics.
As a result, the South American country is losing its customers across the world, including Spain.
Spain has reduced its crude purchase from Venezuela by 63.1 percent to 697,000 tons during the first seven months of 2016, which is equal to 1.8 percent of the country's total crude import, according to the Spanish newspaper.
On the other hand, Iran's return to oil market following the removal of international sanctions last January has been a hard blow to the countries that export oil to Spain.
The Spanish oil firms such as Repsol and Cepsa have rushed to sign contracts with the Islamic Republic to import crude of high quality and very accessible by the proximity of this market.
Spain has imported 1.1 million tons of crude oil from Iran during the first seven months of 2016, which is almost two times more compared to imports from Venezuela.
Iran has raised its share from Spain's oil market to 3 percent, although it is still kept away from other major producers such as Mexico, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Before the latest sanctions were imposed in 2012, Iran was exporting about 600,000 b/d of crude to countries in the European Union, with Italy, Spain and Greece its biggest buyers.
According to International Energy Agency, Iran exported around 150,000 b/d of oil to Spain in 2011.
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