Iran Slowly Offloads Stockpiled Oil

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Iran is slowly winding down stocks of oil stored on tankers close to its shores and the process is likely to take longer than Tehran had wanted, despite the lifting of international sanctions this month.

The pace of sales taken from floating storage highlights the difficulties Iran is facing amid a global oil glut and other challenges such as the certification of its fleet.

Iran parked over 40 million barrels of crude and condensate, a very light grade of crude, on 20 to 25 ships after Western sanctions were imposed over its nuclear program. The sanctions stopped most countries from buying Iranian oil in recent years.

Most of the ships storing oil are run by Iranian tanker operator NITC.

Reuters tanker tracking data on Thursday showed NITC vessel Sinopa - capable of carrying a maximum of 1 million barrels of oil - left Iranian waters for the Chinese port of Dalian. The larger Serena, able to carry up to 2 million barrels of oil, left for South Korea around Jan. 15.

A tanker tracking source confirmed the Sinopa had left and was likely to be carrying condensate, adding that it was unclear if Serena was carrying crude.

"Sinopa was anchored near (the Iranian port of) Assaluyeh for over a month," the source said. "Serena was stationary for over a year."

A nuclear deal between world powers and Iran led to this month's removal of international curbs on Tehran's banking, insurance and shipping sectors as well as oil exports.

Since then, Iran has ordered a 500,000 barrel per day (bpd) increase in oil output, of which 200,000 bpd will go to Europe.

Yet sales of Iran's stocks may be hampered because many of its tankers need refurbishments after being unable to obtain international safety and environmental certification standards -- vital for obtaining port access and insurance.

Foreign providers pulled out in 2012 when tougher shipping sanctions were imposed on Iran.

"The NITC fleet ... has largely been idle since 2011 as a result of sanctions," Wells Fargo senior analyst Michael Webber said.

"There are significant maintenance/vetting questions surrounding the vessels, and we'd expect their return to service to be somewhat gradual."

Iran's oil exports have fallen to just over 1 million bpd, from a peak of more than 3 million bpd in 2011 before the imposition of sanctions.

Major oil firms and trade houses are gradually resuming trading with Iran but efforts remain very cautious and often face huge legal obstacles, so progress is slow.

Leading shipping players say Iran's efforts to start exporting oil to Europe are being held up as foreign tanker owners are still struggling to secure insurance for cargoes from ship insurers, called P&I clubs.

"Until the uncertainties around items such as P&I insurance are resolved, NITC will try to use their own tonnage to move their additional crude to markets," said U.S. headquartered brokerage Poten & Partners.

"It does not help that the world is awash in crude."


By Jonathan Saul

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Contracts

Swiftships to Procure Patrol Craft Kits for Egyptian Navy

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awards contract to Swiftships for four 28-meter KITs for the Egyptian Navy   On June 28, 2016 Louisiana-based Swiftships, LLC,

Ingalls to Build US Warship LH8

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been selected to build the U.S. Navy’s next large-deck amphibious assault warship, LHA 8.

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Expected to Soften

MidEast rates slip from two-week high on June 28; raft of new ships and repaired vessels weigh on rates. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs)

Finance

Baltic Index Up for Eighth Straight Session

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, continued its rise on Friday, for an eighth consecutive session,

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates up 77 pct

Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe rose 77.4 percent to $1,206 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

Euronav Share Buyback

Euronav NV (NYSE: EURN & Euronext: EURN) (“Euronav” or the “Company”) today announces that the Company has purchased 192,415 of its own shares on Euronext Brussels for an aggregate price of EUR 1,

Energy

US Oil Drillers Add Rigs for 4th Week in 5

U.S. drillers this week added oil rigs for a fourth week in five, according to a closely followed report Friday, in the best month of producers returning to the

First Alaskan North Slope Cude Export Planned for Nicaragua

Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude will be shipped to Nicaragua for the first time in July, two trade sources said on Friday, underscoring a shift in oil flows to and from the U.

India's Iran Oil Imports Surge in June

India's Iran oil imports rose about 39 percent in June year on year, preliminary data obtained by Reuters shows.   In the first half of 2016 India's Iran oil

News

US Oil Drillers Add Rigs for 4th Week in 5

U.S. drillers this week added oil rigs for a fourth week in five, according to a closely followed report Friday, in the best month of producers returning to the

Vale Sells 3 Valemax Iron Ore Ships to ICBC

Brazil's Vale SA said it has sold three of its giant "Valemax" iron ore ships to a group led by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, continuing efforts to unload

Fincantieri Launches Silver Muse

Silver Muse, the new ultra-luxury cruise ship which Fincantieri is building for the ship owner Silversea Cruises, was launched at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente.

Government Update

Op/Ed: Supply Chain Hindered by Cumbersome Regulation

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which has always been a valuable resource in supply chain management, announced the formation of a Supply Chain Innovations

Largest Cruise Vessel Calls at Lerwick Port

Yesterday (30 June) was a big day for GAC UK’s Shetlands office, as Offshore Manager Adrian Henry welcomed the P&O Cruises ship ‘Azura’ to the port of Lerwick,

India: Big Push on Coastal Shipping of Thermal Coal under Sagarmala

The State Government of Odisha will partner the Ministry of Shipping for taking ahead the ‘port-led development’ agenda under Sagarmala, the flagship program of the Ministry.

Logistics

Op/Ed: Supply Chain Hindered by Cumbersome Regulation

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which has always been a valuable resource in supply chain management, announced the formation of a Supply Chain Innovations

Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Expected to Soften

MidEast rates slip from two-week high on June 28; raft of new ships and repaired vessels weigh on rates. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs)

Will Zim Join 2M?

Israeli carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) might join the 2M Alliance between Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., Alphaline said quoting industry sources.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1373 sec (7 req/sec)