Oil Tanker Fleet Modern Despite Sanctions

Oil Tanker Fleet Modern Despite SanctionsOil Tanker Fleet Modern Despite Sanctions

Iran's oil tanker fleet is among modern fleets in the world and "easily meets global standards," managing director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said, Mizan News Agency reported late Tuesday.

Ali-Akbar Safaei said the country's oil tankers are on average eight years old, being capable of carrying an estimated 120 million tons of oil per year.

The official underlined resuming oil shipment to EU members among major plans of the NITC this year should the sanctions be removed. As part of measures to strengthen oil trades, Safaei said NITC will hold meetings with the present and past foreign buyers of Iran's oil "to introduce the real potential of the country's oil tanker fleet."

Global oil and trade sanctions against Iran, including the sanction imposed by the European Union (EU) not only undermined the oil industry but also prevented Iranian tankers to enter European ports, according to Safaei. However, he stressed Iran has maintained oil trade with its key trade partner Turkey despite restrictions. A ban on EU oil imports from Iran went into effect on July 1, 2012. Collectively, the EU bought about 600,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day in 2011, approximately a quarter of Iran’s total oil exports. After eight days of marathon talks on Tehran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement on April 2, calling for lifting all trade sanctions against Iran. The details of the agreement are due to be finalized by a June 30 deadline.

Only six buyers are still allowed to take crude from Iran - China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan - down from 21 before the restrictions went into effect in mid-2012.

Iran's oil exports have been cut by more than half to around 1.1 million barrels per day compared to a pre-sanctions level of 2.5 million bpd. Iran hopes to boost crude exports by one million bpd in just two months once the sanctions against it are lifted.

  Improved Export Capacity

The capacity to export oil and petroleum products has risen following renovation and overhaul of oil terminal facilities in the Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf, managing director of the Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) said. Amir Vakilzadeh stated the overhaul of 15 marine loading arms in the island by the IOTC has increased oil loading rate by 70,000 barrels per hour. In addition, Incurred costs due to delays in berthing and loading of tankers have almost slashed to zero. He added the overhaul was completed with an estimated $1.9 budget over the past year.

Once the world's largest offshore crude oil terminal and the principal sea terminal for Iranian oil, Kharg Island facilities were put out of commission in 1986. Heavy bombardment of the island by the Iraqi regime air forces during the Iran–Iraq Imposed War (1980-1988) all but destroyed most of the terminal facilities.