As the EU prepares to ban oil imports from Iran, China is standing by to take up most of the spare capacity. As reported by Reuters today,

M. Qamsari, International Director of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), told Reuters by telephone from Tehran shortly before the report on the EU stance emerged.

“We could very easily replace those customers,” said Qamsari. Some, but not all, of any displaced volume could move into China as well as other Asian countries and Africa, he said. Iran was unlikely just to store crude on tankers as that was only a short-term solution.

So how much goes to the EU.

Roughly 30 percent, or just under 700,000 bpd, of Iran’s oil steams west of Suez, he said. More than half that volume is shipped to Europe, roughly 200,000 bpd goes to Turkey and the remainder is routed into Africa.

The International Energy Agency estimates Iran exports about 450,000 bpd to the European Union.

Who is this really going to hurt? We can see from the statement below the European Consumer will suffer through higher prices. It’s always the people who suffer from these decisions.

The NIOC official said Europe’s longstanding buyers of Iranian crude – among them France’s Total and Italy’s Eni – have voiced concern about potential EU sanctions, but had yet to cut back on contractual supplies.

Any punitive moves by Brussels could cause European consumers to suffer through higher prices at the pump, he said.

When you break it down

EU impose ban => EU citizens suffer and China gets secure oil contracts.