Kharg Ready for STS Oil Transfer

Kharg Ready for  STS Oil TransferKharg Ready for  STS Oil Transfer

Iran is ready to export oil via ship-to-ship (STS) method for the first time from its major Kharg Oil Terminal, Parviz Bayat, head of research division at Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) said, Mehr news agency reported Tuesday.

Oil company experts are applying a new technique to increase crude oil and gas condensate exports, known as "ship-to-ship".

A STS transfer operation is the transfer of cargo between seagoing ships positioned alongside each other, either while stationary or underway. Cargo typically transferred via STS methods includes crude oil, liquefied gas (LPG or LNG), bulk cargo, and petroleum products.

Most cargo movement takes place between a ship and a land-based terminal. However, it sometimes can be useful to transfer cargo from one ship to another in the open seas. One vessel operates as the terminal while the other moors.  According to Bayat special plastic hoses, designed and produced domestically, make it possible to transfer oil between ships even in extreme weather conditions in the strategic Persian Gulf.

Highlighting the advantages of domestically-made hoses including their price that is 50 percent lower compared to imported brands, the official said," the technology was once the monopoly of some American and European companies. Now Iranians have produced it inside the country."

The hoses are now used only in Kharg terminal docks and will be taken into service in other regions on demand.

According to data from the Iranian National Oil Co. eight decks at Kharg were simultaneously involved on April 15, making it possible to export more than seven million barrels of oil in one day for the first time in 10 years.

While Iran and the six world powers are doing their best to seal a final nuclear deal in the coming weeks, Iran's national oil company is preparing to increase oil production and export capacity to pre-sanctions era.

Iran's oil exports have been cut by more than half to around 1.1 million barrels per day from a pre-sanctions level of 2.5 million bpd. It hopes to boost exports by one million bpd in just two months once the sanctions fade away.

Tehran is under punitive economic sanctions because of its nuclear program. After marathon talks in Lausanne, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement on April 2 that calls for lifting all trade sanctions against Iran. The details of the agreement are to be finalized by a June 30 deadline.

Iran's oil tanker fleet is among the modern fleets in the world. Its oil tankers are on average eight years old, capable of carrying an estimated 120 million tons of oil per year.