NIOC Arm Given Bunkering License

NIOC Arm Given  Bunkering LicenseNIOC Arm Given  Bunkering License

A subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company has managed to obtain a bunkering license. The private enterprise whose name has not been revealed, will strive to do its fair share in increasing value added in the key sector, said Ali Akbar Safaie, managing director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), ILNA reported on Sunday.

Comparing Iran's oil tanker capacity in the pre and post-sanctions eras, the official noted, "The current capacity is 15 million tons…" However, he refused to elaborate on the pre-sanctions data.

The term 'bunkering' broadly relates to storage of petroleum products in tank. The precise meaning can be the practice and business of refueling ships. Bunkering operations are undertaken at seaports, and include the storage of bunker (ship) fuels and refueling vessels. 

Alternatively the term bunkering may apply to the shipboard logistics of loading fuel and distributing it among available bunkers.

Not only does bunkering create value added and boost economic and political prowess of the country that undertakes such activity, it also creates direct and indirect jobs. Moreover, it leads to the development of much-needed bunkering operation infrastructures including ports, docks, fuel transmission pipelines and reservoirs. Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at the NIOC says, "Iran's bunkering process has been revised and we are ready to do business with private firms. Moreover, to make the business easier private companies can also present collateral instead of bank guarantee."

On the critical issue of oil tanker insurance, Safaie said, "A domestic consortium is to cover the insurance. Foreign insurance companies have announced interest in offering services."  

NITC transports Iranian crude to export markets and also supplies oil products to Iranian ports and islands located in the Persian Gulf.

The company, which operates the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East, performs as an independent entity in contracts with foreign companies for crude oil transportation.

In observance of IMO (International Maritime Organization) regulations, it has a major project for replacing tankers, including the construction and purchase of 25 tankers with the total capacity of six million tons. In recent years the NITC has taken great steps towards accomplishing enhanced management systems, maritime safety and transport. Its shares were recently offered to the private sector.