Tehran: Iran is struggling to find new buyers for crude oil as Western sanctions start to bite, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Tehran is offering to sell an extra 500,000 barrels per day of oil, which is nearly 23 percent of what it exported last year, to Chinese and Indian refiners, the report said citing two industry executives familiar with the talks.
The crude is for delivery from the start of April, it said. Tehran is not offering any discount on the oil, the report said, citing one of the sources.
If Iran cannot find customers for the oil by mid-March, it would be forced to put unsold barrels into floating storage in tankers or reduce output, according to the report.
Iran, OPEC`s second largest producer, ordered a halt to its oil sales to Britain and France on Sunday, retaliating against tightening EU sanctions as its ties with the West remained strained over its controversial nuclear program. The country said it would sell its oil to new customers.