Greece’s largest refiner is finding it easier to secure crude as improving credit conditions allow suppliers to cautiously return, although it still must pay a premium.
Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), was dealt a double body blow when it was forced to abandon cheap Iranian oil imports due to sanctions at the height of the Greek economic crisis when liquidity was squeezed.
For the past year, the refiner has been reliant mostly on deliveries from trading houses Vitol and Glencore.
Now, BP and other, smaller players are dealing with ELPE, say traders, and others may follow.
“Credit conditions have significantly improved since the recent EU/IMF resolutions on Greece and the disbursement of the bailout tranche last December,” the ELPE spokesman said.
Toward the end of last year, the eurozone finalized a 50-billion-euro package for Greek banks and ELPE refinanced 1.2 billion euros in loans.
ELPE, which has a refining capacity of 310,000 barrels per day, fell victim to the Greek financial crisis as international banks stopped dealing with most Greek institutions and their letters of credit, fearing defaults.