Ambiguity and questions about the Iranian Oil donation!

Ambiguity and questions about the Iranian Oil donation!

| Thursday 22 September 2022

Rania Chakhtoura, “Akhbar al-Yawm” agency

Oil expert: What are the final quantities that Lebanon benefits from?

And which company will take risks in order to deal with sanctioned oil?

The Lebanese, who are in the midst of a complete power outage of the "state electricity" and high-priced generators that are forced to be rationed, have high hopes for the Iranian oil donation.

But between the SWAP deals and the US sanctions on Iran, will this fuel arrive and how and what are the final quantities that Lebanon receives... We are in front of a big headline while the content is empty and the results are undecided.

An expert in the field of oil explains, via the "Akhbar al-Yawm" agency, that the energy production plants in Lebanon are working on GAZ OIL, so it is necessary to carry out SWAP operations in order to convert Iraqi oil or Iranian oil into fuels matching the specifications of the operation of these plants.

He explains that the plants operators to ensure the feeding of nine hours a day (equivalent to 900 megawatts) needs 1.6 million tons of GAZ OIL annually, pointing out that the Iranian donation estimated at about 600 thousand tons of fuel for 5 months will not reach Lebanon with the same amount because the SWAP operations lead to the loss of part of it, noting here that 600 thousand of GAZ OIL provides nine hours of feeding for four months.

Here the sources point out that the General Directorate of oil is responsible for organizing swap deals and operations, as for the Iraqi fuel there was a lot of ambiguity about the final amount that reaches the electricity plants.

On the other hand, the same expert talks about how Iranian oil is transported, asking: through the ships? Where will they dock? Will they carry other materials besides the fuel? And can Arab ports receive it, in light of US sanctions, or is Lebanon exempt from it because this oil is a 100% donation? Will other countries be exempt? But if it will be transported through tanks, it will take a long time.

The expert continues: If the Iranian fuel arrives in Lebanon, who is the company that will accept to carry out SWAP operations and deal with fuel subject to US sanctions, saying: We have not heard until the moment that the United States will lift sanctions on that donation, knowing that Washington has not lifted sanctions on Syria to allow the implementation of the gas import project from Egypt, through the Arab gas pipeline that passes through Jordan and Syria and then to Lebanon.

The expert rules out dealing with international and well-known companies such as the UAE's Enoc and the Omani company for swaps operations similar to Iraqi oil, he says: if we say that a company has agreed the "deal", then it has put itself in a dangerous place, so prices and quantities will lack a lot of transparency, as the process will be illegal for the global system, because any company dealing with Iranian fuel cannot deal with any bank within the global system.

He considers that the amount of 600 thousand tons will reach Lebanon less than 150 thousand (in light of world prices and the requirements of the swap), but it is understood from Iranian officials that the donation will be divided over six months, that is, one hundred thousand tons every month, and according to world prices, in addition to the fact that we are facing oil under sanctions, Lebanon will at best receive 20 or 25 thousand tons of GAZ OIL, that is, an hour of electricity per day.

The expert also asks: Will Lebanon bear the cost of transporting these goods to and from Beirut in order to complete swap operations, pointing out that there are many blocks and great ambiguity about the final quantities that Lebanon will benefit from.

The same oil expert concludes with regret that Lebanon burned all the bridges with Sonatrach, which dealt with it for 15 years, and today Algeria and Kuwait would have been ready to supply Lebanon with quantities of fuel, but the regime in Lebanon created problems with everyone!

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