Tue Aug 8, 2017 7:36AM
A picture taken on March 12, 2017 shows an Iranian worker standing on a platform at the oil facility in the Kharg Island, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. (Photo by AFP)
A picture taken on March 12, 2017 shows an Iranian worker standing on a platform at the oil facility in the Kharg Island, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. (Photo by AFP)

Ukraine has joined Iran’s oil customers, making its first purchase in June, media reports cited the country’s State Fiscal Service as saying.

According to the report, Ukraine bought $236,000 worth of crude oil from Iran in June but the purchase rose to $5.4 million in July which saw the East European country importing 152,655 tonnes of oil in total.

Shipments to Europe from Iran are increasing daily, with the country's leading oil tanker operator NITC planning to expand its fleet to cope with the situation.

Iran has been ramping up oil production since the removal of sanctions, aiming to hit pre-sanction levels of around 4 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year from around 3.8 million bpd in recent months.  

The country has persuaded OPEC to exclude it from a deal under which members are bound to reduce their output by 1.2 million bpd.

Last month, Iran delivered more than 2.2 million bpd of crude to Asian and European markets, the Mehr news agency cited a Ministry of Petroleum report as saying.

Iran’s biggest oil customer is China which is expected to raise shipments from the Middle Eastern country to the highest in 11 months in August on rising demand for heavier Iranian crude.

Crude and condensate exports from Iran to China are set to hit 733,000 bpd in August, the highest since September, Reuters report. Overall Iranian crude exports in August for Asia are set to fall to 1.3 million bpd, down 0.3 percent from July, according to the news agency.

However, Iran’s exports to Europe have been rising, with new buyers joining the list of the country’s crude oil clients.