More than 20 years after the establishment of the Energy Bourse, the private sector has been granted permission to take part in crude oil trade. The Government is seeking new ways to sell its crude oil in light of new sanctions by the US. Therefore, the private sector can now transparently purchase and export oil. In light of the corruption scandals surrounding the sales of oil during the last period of sanctions, the government is seeking to reduce the chance for corruption by using the transparent platform of the Energy Exchange.
In July 2011, the National Oil Company started offering heavy crude oil on the Energy Bourse in an attempt at export. Although six initial customers stepped forward, the deal was never finalized. The buyers believed the prices too high and the National Oil Company did not think it financially feasible to lower its prices. Thus the sale of oil via the bourse never took place.
If the government had offered oil in the bourse in previous years, there would be a number of credible companies active in the bourse who had their own networks to export oil, said the Vice Chairman of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Pedram Soltani. In the current climate, offering oil to companies that have no experience or international relations in this field can be disastrous in the face of sanctions.