South Africa looks for alternatives to Iran oil
The South African government plans to have alternatives to Iranian oil in place by the end of May as western powers tighten sanctions against the Islamic republic, the country’s energy minister said on Tuesday.
South Africa, Africa’s largest economy, relies on Iran for about 29 per cent of its oil imports, according to the US Energy Information Administration. It was the only big customer of Iranian crude not to have revealed that it was seeking alternative supplies.
“I would be lying if I said that the United States is putting pressure on us to cut Iran imports . . . but we are considering different avenues now,” Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, South Africa’s energy minister, told Reuters. “We have given ourselves till the end of May to come up with alternatives, and we are engaging in talks with everyone, including Iran.”
Ms Dipuo Peters said she had recently visited Tehran to discuss the issue. South Africa’s oil consumption is estimated to be slightly over 550,000 barrels per day, of which approximately 370,000 b/d is imported, the EIA says.
The US and Europe have imposed sanctions on Tehran’s crude exports amid concerns that Iran is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful civilian use.
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