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Another Hurdle for Iran Oil Tankers Comeback

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 12, 2015

 Iran's oil tanker fleet is expected to face more hurdles before many of the vessels can start trading again due to insurance hiccups and tougher requirements over sea worthiness by potential foreign clients, despite easing of sanctions, reports Reuters.

 
The top tanker firm NITC  was readying its return to international markets and was in talks with Western insurers while also looking to expand its fleet, says Iranian media.
 
It's unable to secure foreign insurance or international classification services as it remains blacklisted by the United States and European Union since 2012. Classification services certify ships have met safety and environmental standards necessary to get access to most ports.
 
Hugo de Stoop, chief financial officer with leading Belgium-based tanker owner Euronav said that it would take some time.
 
Iran's fleet includes 37 to 40 NITC supertankers, known as VLCCs, each capable of carrying 2 million barrels of oil. Tanker tracking sources estimated that Iran was currently storing oil - both crude and its derivative condensate - on around 24 VLCCs versus 29 vessels in July.
 
Leading tanker broker EA Gibson said a number of NITC's tankers would need "to meet international standards in terms of class and insurance". 
 
"Furthermore, many units are likely to require dry docking (repairs). On this basis, the process of 're-entry' will be gradual," Gibson said in a report.
 
Euronav's de Stoop said eight of Iran's supertankers, currently used as floating storage, were over 15 years old and were unlikely to rejoin the global fleet as it would involve millions of dollars in extra costs.
 
Iran has repeatedly announced plans to boost oil production and exports once sanctions are lifted to reclaim its position as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' second-largest producer. 
 

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