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FACTBOX-Iran's crude oil buyers in Europe, Asia
Sept 8 (Reuters) - The United Nations in June passed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran in reaction to its uranium enrichment programme. Tougher measures followed from the European Union and the United States, specifically targeting oil and gas.
A number of oil companies, trading houses and international businesses have since stopped transactions with Iran, although it is difficult to build up a picture of the country's crude purchases because the information is not officially published.
Iran, OPEC's second-biggest oil producer [OPEC/O], exports roughly 2 million barrels of oil a day.
European refiners buy at least 238,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran, down from 608,000 bpd in a previous Reuters survey in 2008, while Asian refiners take roughly 1.4 million bpd.
Iranian crude, which tends to have a high sulphur content and can be difficult to refine, can accumulate in floating storage in the summer months when demand for it weakens. Traders say any stockpiling has been exaggerated by the impact of the sanctions.
On Tuesday, however, an Iranian oil official said Iran's crude was not being stockpiled in tankers and that some Indian refineries were specifically designed to consume its Soroush and Norouz crude, which are particularly hard to refine.
Market sources said Indian refiner Essar had contracted about 3.2 million barrels per month with Iran. Volumes would include Iranian Heavy, Forozan, Norouz and Soroush, but the sources said at the moment it was only buying Forozan and Norouz.
Following are industry estimates of Iran's export volumes by customer. Volumes are in thousand barrels per day:
CUSTOMER VOLUME ASIA CUSTOMER VOLUME EUROPE Zhuhai Zhenrong (China) 240 Tupras (Turkey) 63 Sinopec (China) 200 Cepsa (Spain) 25 MRPL (India) 130 Hellenic (Greece) 60 Nippon Oil (Japan) 120 Repsol (Spain) 80 SK Energy (S. Korea) 120 Petrogal (Portugal) 10 Hyundai Oilbank (S. Korea) 70 Showa Shell (Japan) 120 TOTAL EUROPE 238 Toyota Tsushu (Japan) 50 Essar Oil (India) 50 Cosmo Oil (Japan) 45 Japan Energy (Japan) 75 IOC 30 HPCL (India) 60 Mitsui (Japan) 15 Mitsubishi (Japan) 35 Itochu (Japan) 5 BPCL (India) 5 Kanematsu (Japan) 15 Idemitsu Kosan (Japan) 12 Marubeni (Japan) 10 Essar Oil (India) 100 (3.2 mln bbls/month) TOTAL ASIA 1,462
(Compiled by Reuters London energy desk, reporting by New Delhi, Beijing, Singapore, Milan, Madrid, Dubai, Paris and Tokyo bureaux, editing by Jane Baird)
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