Iran Wants Oil Tanker Seized for Damaging Platform

Iran Wants Oil Tanker Seized for Damaging PlatformIran Wants Oil Tanker Seized for Damaging Platform

Habib Jadidi, the director of South Pars Phase 13 development operations said, "We want neighboring countries to cooperate on handing over of the Alpine Eternity oil tanker because the tanker is liable for damage to an Iranian-owned oil platform it hit on March 22," Shana news agency reported.

Highlighting that the collision has created a very dangerous situation for the wells, he  blamed the ship and its captain for drifting some 40-50 kilometers off course in March which caused the accident.

"Should it not be quickly tackled, wellhead installations will be damaged and if no gas flows from the wells, it could lead to unpleasant hazards and pollution,” Jadidi warned.

The director noted that the accident had caused $300 million damage to the platform, yet in spite of all negotiations, the Norwegian Company, Transpetrol, had not compensated the damage yet.

 The Singapore-flagged tanker which, its owner claims, came under Iranian Navy fire in international waters off the UAE this week, is wanted over the unsettled $300m debt damage.

The incident happened on Thursday after Iranian naval patrol boats spotted the Alpine Eternity commercial ship in the Persian Gulf, just off the island of Abu Musa, and demanded it to maneuver into Iranian waters.

Several warning shots were fired as the tanker, operated by Norway’s Transpetrol TM AS, issued a distress call, prompting the UAE to send out coastguard vessels. The tanker’s owner, South Maritime Pte Ltd, claimed that one shot was fired directly on the ship, but “no serious damage was sustained by the vessel and none of the 23 crew members were injured.”

The Alpine Eternity was escorted and is now safely anchored off Dubai. This week’s incident is at least the second in the strategic Persian Gulf from the bulk of the oil to the world passes. In late April, Iran detained a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz for more than a week. In that incident, Tehran said that the company that chartered the MV Maersk Tigris owed money to an Iranian firm. The vessel was released after the matter was settled.