LONDON, Nov 11
) – Greece is relying on Iran for most of its oil as traders pull the plug on supplies and banks refuse to provide financing for fear that Athens will default on its debt…
More than two dozen European traders contacted by Reuters at oil majors and trading houses said the lack of bank financing has forced Greece to stop purchasing crude from Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in recent months.
Greece, with no domestic production, relies on oil imports and in 2010 imported 46 percent of its crude from Russia and 16 percent from Iran. Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan provided 10 percent each, Libya 9 percent and Iraq 7 percent, according to data from the European Union…
Shipping data obtained by Reuters showed four cargoes taking crude from the Middle East outlet of Sidi Kerir on the Egyptian Mediterranean to Greece in September. Three sailed in October. Traders said all carried Iranian Heavy crude and more was coming in November.
“Iran is the only one who might be working on an “open credit” basis right now, given its own difficulty in selling crude,” one trader said.
Hellenic Petroleum, which owns three of Greece’s four refineries, denied to Reuters any problems buying oil.
But it would be amazing if there wasn’t an issue, given not only the high risk of a disorderly Greek sovereign default affecting all Greek companies, but the high risk of Greece plummeting out of the euro.