By on March 25, 2012


In the nice problem to have department, Shell is doing its very best (or so they say) to settle a $1 billion bill for about four large tanker loads of Iranian crude. The problem: Sanctions make payments to Iran hard if not impossible.

“Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay. It’s very sensitive and very difficult. They want to stay on good terms with Iran, while abiding by sanctions,” a source told Reuters.

Shell was one of Iran’s top clients, along with France’s Total and Turkey’s Tupras. After sanctions on Iranian oil were declared, companies have until July 1 to take last deliveries of oil. Payment however is a whole different matter.

“It is now nearly impossible to use the banking system,” an oilman told Reuters. Payments had been hard for a while. Dubai banks used to be able to facilitate payment in and out of Iran, but this has stopped following pressure from Washington.

Isn’t this a problem we all would like to have?

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9 Comments on “Shell Can’t Pay Billion Dollar Oil Bill To Iran...”

  • avatar

    Iranian sanctions: Great. Here’s a toast to higher pump prices… However, it might make the trade in on my fuel efficient 11 year old Toyota better than it already is.

  • avatar

    Bag-drop in the Straits of Hormuz should do the trick!

  • avatar

    The US doesn’t use Iranian oil. It’s going to Europe. I’m surprised that the money can’t go through Germany or Switzerland. For a fee, of course.

  • avatar

    Mail them a check and if they receive it they can figure out a way to cash it.

  • avatar

    Man wouldn’t you hate to get collection calls from Iran!

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Send me the money. I know an Iranian. We’ll go to ‘Vegas.

  • avatar

    Wonder what the payment terms are. Compounding interest rates would balloon up this debt when it does become legal to pay … unless they’re specifically excluded due to force majeure or something like that.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    No one really follows the news…

    The cnetral clearing house, the master routing for all financial transactions in the world are no longer processing money to or from Iran. Mailing them a check (imagine wiriting it) would not be processed.

    It doesnt matter who makes what oil where or who uses it, oil prices are from a worldwide unitary market. Speculators drive the price up or down as supply and demand has very little effect on prices anymore in the world market (they do locally ie a refinery goes offline).

    Must be a hell of a problem for the accounting office. Imagine a billion dollar check not being cashed on the books.

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