Iran will start shipping 300,000 b/d of crude to Europe, 54% of the total it had sent before the European Union’s import embargo in 2012, according to Bloomberg.

European refiners, Spanish Compania Espanola de Petroleos, France’s Total SA, and Russia’s Lukoil PJSC have all provisionally booked cargoes of Iranian crude from Kharg Island to sail to European ports in February, according to shipping reports compiled by Bloomberg. Paris-based Total SA has agreed to buy about 160,000b/d, the Iranian Oil Ministry stated. The company also expressed interest in developing the South Azadegan oil field in western Iran near the border with Iraq and in a liquid natural gas project. Agreements with Italian Eni SpA are yet to be signed, but some 100,000b/d is expected to be shipped. Italy’s Saras SpA refinery is also interested in buying additional 60,000 to 70,000b/d, wrote Bloomberg in related news.

The cargoes show that Iran is to quickly re-establish its relationship with European customers, excluding Turkey, seeking to increase the level of exports to the continent to 550,000b/d,  the pre-sanction levels, according to data compiled by Petromatrix. The country may not regain all of its prior market share because it has lost business to Iraq, Petromatrix added. However, Tehran is ready to sweeten the terms of its oil development contracts to attract foreign investments estimated at more than $40b in total to flow into the country after the nuclear sanctions were lifted in January, according to the Daily Star.

Iranian crude exports had peaked at more than 3mb/d in 2011, fell to a little more than 1m b/d sanctions, added Reuters.