Iran is in talks to help build a 200,000 b/d refinery in Spain, reported Trade Arabia. Iran will finance 50% of the project, leaving the remaining half for Spanish companies, clarified Abbas Kazemi, the Head of the state-run National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co. (NIORDC).

Kazemi added that the project will guarantee Iran’s oil sales to Madrid, given that it will only refine supplies from Iran, declining to name the Spanish companies involved, Press TV informed.

A tactic used by Iran to guarantee its crude oil exports is building or buying stakes in overseas refineries that would process its crude. It is widely perceived as part of Iran’s drive to maximize market share with the final lifting of sanctions. “The safest way to increase the exports is investment in refineries abroad,” Kazemi was quoted by Wall Street Journal as saying.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a major Spanish refiner, Repsol, and the Spanish Foreign Ministry stated that they knew nothing about the ongoing talks.

Tehran has pursued overseas refineries in countries as diverse as Indonesia, Brazil, India, Switzerland, and France.