1st Supertanker Sails for Asia

1st Supertanker Sails for Asia1st Supertanker Sails for Asia

An Iranian supertanker with two million barrels of oil is heading to Asia, the first vessel to sail after a nuclear deal this week, data showed on Thursday.

Iran and six major world powers reached a landmark nuclear deal on Tuesday, clearing the way for an easing of international sanctions on Tehran and higher oil exports, Bunker World reported.

Oil analysts do not expect Iran to make a major return to the market until next year.

The fully laden Starla, operated by Iran’s top tanker group National Iranian Tanker Company, had been used for floating storage since Dec. 12, a tanker tracking source said.

“One of the scenarios is it could do an STS operation, although nothing is known at the moment,” the source said, referring to ship-to-ship transfers of oil between two vessels, usually at sea.

Thomson Reuters Eikon shipping data showed the vessel sailing through the Sea of Oman with a Singapore destination. Earlier this week, the Starla was idling offshore the United Arab Emirates in an area known as Khor Fakkan, often used for STS.

It is unclear whether the estimated 2 million-barrel cargo had been sold, or if so whether the deal occurred after this week’s agreement.

Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said last month the country is aiming to add 500,000 barrels per day to production within two months of western sanctions being eased, and as much as 1 million bpd in six to seven months.

The sanctions had halved Iran’s shipments to 1 million bpd.