Iran Economy NewsChina’s cut in Iran oil imports is ‘warning,’ Petromatrix...

China’s cut in Iran oil imports is ‘warning,’ Petromatrix says

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Bloomberg: A reduction in China’s imports of crude oil from Iran may be a “warning sign” regarding the Middle Eastern country’s pursuit of nuclear technology, according to consultants Petromatrix GmbH.

By Grant Smith

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) — A reduction in China’s imports of crude oil from Iran may be a “warning sign” regarding the Middle Eastern country’s pursuit of nuclear technology, according to consultants Petromatrix GmbH.

China cut crude imports from Iran in the period from January to September compared with a year ago even as the world’s biggest energy consumer shipped in more oil, Petromatrix said. It decreased supplies from Iran to 415,000 barrels a day, from 499,000 a day last year, Petromatrix said, citing data from the Beijing-based Customs General Administration.

“It might be a first warning sign,” Olivier Jakob, Petromatrix’s managing director, said in a telephone interview from Zug, Switzerland. “China is still importing a lot. It might be showing to Iran, ‘you’re not going to participate in our growth.’”

The United Nations in June passed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran that restrict financial transactions. The U.S. on July 1 passed additional sanctions targeting fuel importers and banks, and European Union governments followed by banning investment and sales of equipment to Iran’s oil and natural-gas industries.

BP Plc said today it’s too early to know whether its North Sea Rhum natural-gas field venture with Iranian Oil Co. U.K. Ltd. will shut because of European Union measures against the Middle Eastern nation.

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