Vehicles are parked at a Lukoil petrol station in St. Petersburg November 26, 2013.(REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk)
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European firms and trading houses are not rushing to buy Iranian oil because of legal uncertainties over the lifting of sanctions that are likely to take weeks to clarify.Iran ordered a 500,000-bpd hike in oil output, of which 200,000 bpd will go to Europe, after the nuclear-related international sanctions were lifted Saturday.Russian oil major Lukoil's chief executive, Vagit Alekperov, said it was still not clear whether the company's refineries in Italy or the Netherlands were free of legal risks to buy Iranian oil.Market players, however, expect that companies which bought Iranian crude before the sanctions – such as Royal Dutch/Shell, Total, Eni, Hellenic Petroleum and traders such as Vitol and Glencore – will resume purchases at some point later this year.Iran has stored 40 million barrels of crude in tankers and has said it is keen to regain its former customers, even as oil prices keep falling due to global oversupply.
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