Sanctions Force Iran to Increase Tanker Fleet
With Western Sanctions increasingly tightening on Iran, the country has taken delivery of several new oil tankers as it must rely on its own fleet capacity to help sustain crude export shipments, Reuters reported.
Sanctions by the U.S. and Europe have severely reduced Iran’s oil Exports from pre-sanction levels of roughly 2.2 million barrels per day and have also led other foreign shipping companies to avoid Iranian business, Reuters said, costing the Islamic Republic billions of dollars in lost revenue each month.
Because of this, Iran’s main tanker operator NITC is forced to boost operations and keep wells pumping by exporting cargo. The company reportedly added four tankers to its fleet between May and July and three additional tankers earlier this year. Reuters reported that the vessels were part of a 2009 order with two Chinese shipyards for 12 new supertankers at costs totaling $1.2 billion.
NITC now has a supertanker fleet of 37 ships with a maximum capacity of 64 million barrels and another 14 small crude oil tankers with capacity for an additional 12.5 million barrels.
Iran’s top oil buyer is China, but the country still may face crude surpluses as it remains blacklisted by many western countries.
Sources: Reuters, staff