Iran has loaded its first major delivery of crude destined for Europe since the removal of western sanctions.

Four million barrels of crude are being delivered to French, Russian and Spanish customers according to Roknoddin Javadi, the Managing Director of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

“Two million barrels of the cargo has been purchased by France’s Total and the rest is purchased by two companies from Russia and Spain,” Javadi told Iran’s official energy news service Shana.

Speaking to Shana on 13 February he said that the oil sold to the Russian firm is destined for refineries in Romania.

Iran intends to ramp up output by one million barrels a day over 2016.

Before sanctions were imposed it was Opec’s second biggest producer.