July 18, 2011
On July 13, the National Iranian Oil Company offered 600,000 barrels of heavy crude oil for sale on the Iran Mercantile Exchange, the first such sale through the offshore commodities market.
First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Economy Minister Shamseddin Husseini, and Oil Ministry Caretaker Mohammad Aliabadi attended the inauguration ceremony in Tehran.
Minister Hosseini also said the bourse ended government's monopoly over the oil market because from now on private sector and international firms are also allowed to trade on the bourse.
According to the bourse officials, crude oil will be offered for sale in the Asian, Mediterranean and European markets for delivery in August. At least 50,000 barrels of crude oil will be sold on a regular basis, as soon as the bourse meets the remaining technical and legal requirements.
The three oil markets are all US dollar denominated: North America's West Texas Intermediate Crude, North Sea Brent Crude, and the UAE Dubai Crude. The two major oil bourses are the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Intercontinental Exchange in London & Atlanta. Since the Oil Bourse in Kish is developed through successive stages, the plan is to establish a Petrobourse as a fourth oil market, denominated by the Iranian rial, the euro and other major currencies.