LONDON,(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has bought $1.5 billion worth of crude oil from the National Iranian Oil Company (NOIC), Britain’s Guardian newspaper said, citing sensitive trading documents.
The newspaper said the UK-registered company this summer stepped up its orders of Iranian oil while other major buyers — including BP and India’s Reliance Industries — halted orders following U.N.-imposed sanctions in June in reaction to Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.
Wide-ranging international sanctions implemented in June and July have excluded crude oil sales, but Western-allied powers have increased political pressure on countries to trade less with Iran.
“We continue to comply with all legislation,” the Guardian quoted a Shell spokesman as saying, adding that the company does not comment on its trading activities.
The paper quoted a Foreign Office spokesman as saying Britain “will rigorously enforce sanctions.”
No immediate comment was available from the Foreign Office, while Shell was not immediately reachable.