Category Archives: France

Homs: Rebels flee, French troops captured by army

 

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 1, 2012

Syrian opposition forces say they’ve withdrawn from a key neighborhood in the embattled city of Homs. Government forces have been trying to take over the area, saying it’s used as a base by armed militants. All this while the country waits for the arrival of Kofi Annan, the new UN and Arab League envoy, who’s vowed to stop the killing and start dialogue.

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Third quake in two days in France

For the third time in 48 hours, the earth shook in France . An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 on the Richter scale occurred late Monday afternoon in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, according the Central Bureau of Seismology French, after a previous earthquake the day before the evening.
This earthquake “moderate” and “weakly felt by the population” occurred at 5:31 p.m. ET was centered, like the day before he was a replica, northeast of Barcelonnette. The earthquake occurred shortly after 11:30 p.m. Sunday was a magnitude of 4.9.
Another earthquake of magnitude 3.8 was recorded Sunday morning in the Charente-Maritime.

 

www.leparisien.fr

Iran stops oil sales to British, French companies

(Reuters) -Parisa Hafezi

Iran has stopped selling crude to British and French companies, the oil ministry said on Sunday, in a retaliatory measure against fresh EU sanctions on the Islamic state’s lifeblood, oil.

“Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped … we will sell our oil to new customers,” spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the ministry of petroleum website.

The European Union in January decided to stop importing crude from Iran from July 1 over its disputed nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at building bombs. Iran denies this.

Iran’s oil minister said on February 4 that the Islamic state would cut its oil exports to “some” European countries.

The European Commission said last week that the bloc would not be short of oil if Iran stopped crude exports, as they have enough in stock to meet their needs for around 120 days.

Industry sources told Reuters on February 16 that Iran’s top oil buyers in Europe were making substantial cuts in supply months in advance of European Union sanctions, reducing flows to the continent in March by more than a third – or over 300,000 barrels daily.

France’s Total has already stopped buying Iran’s crude, which is subject to fresh EU embargoes. Market sources said Royal Dutch Shell has scaled back sharply.

Among European nations, debt-ridden Greece is most exposed to Iranian oil disruption.

Motor Oil Hellas of Greece was thought to have cut out Iranian crude altogether and compatriot Hellenic Petroleum along with Spain’s Cepsa and Repsol were curbing imports from Iran.

Iran was supplying more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the EU plus Turkey in 2011, industry sources said.

By the start of this year imports had sunk to about 650,000 bpd as some customers cut back in anticipation of an EU ban.

Saudi Arabia says it is prepared to supply extra oil either by topping up existing term contracts or by making rare spot market sales. Iran has criticized Riyadh for the offer.

Iran said the cut will have no impact on its crude sales, warning that any sanctions on its oil will raise international crude prices.

Brent crude oil prices were up $1 a barrel to $118.35 shortly after Iran’s state media announced last week that Tehran had cut oil exports to six European states. The report was denied shortly afterwards by Iranian officials.

“We have our own customers … The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran,” Nikzad said.

EU’s new sanctions includes a range of extra restrictions on Iran that went well beyond U.N. sanctions agreed last month and included a ban on dealing with Iranian banks and insurance companies and steps to prevent investment in Tehran’s lucrative oil and gas sector, including refining.

The mounting sanctions are aimed at putting financial pressure on the world’s fifth largest crude oil exporter, which has little refining capacity and has to import about 40 percent of its gasoline needs for its domestic consumption.