Foreign Tankers Help NIOC Operations

 Foreign Tankers Help NIOC Operations Foreign Tankers Help NIOC Operations

Iran's oil tanker fleet, one of the largest in the world, is not expansive enough to handle the country's total crude oil exports, director of international affairs at National Iranian Oil Company said, stressing the need for foreign oil vessels.

 “Iran's oil tanker fleet is modern with an average age of eight years. Nevertheless, It is not capable of carrying more than 800 million barrels of oil a year,” Mohsen Qamsari was quoted as saying by ILNA.

According to the official, most oil tankers belong to Turkey, South Korea, India and China -- countries that significantly increased their oil import from Iran after the lifting of international restrictions eight months ago.

Pointing to the fact that during sanctions, 90% of Iran's oil, or almost 1 million barrels per day, were shipped by Iranian tankers, the official added that the number of domestic Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and ultra-large crude carriers cannot cope with the sudden and rising demand for Iranian crude.

"Iran, OPEC’s third-biggest producer, now exports 2.3 million bpd of oil per day," he said, noting that oil tankers from Norway, Romania, Japan and Spain have been commissioned to carry almost half of Iran's oil export.

Qamsari said Iran produces 530,000 barrels of gas condensates per day whereas its daily exports amount to 600,000 barrels, tapping into condensate inventories to meet market demand.

Iran is selling its stored gas condensates, most of which was seized from the infamous oil billionaire Babak Zanjani. The businessman who is now in prison in Tehran, sold massive amounts of mazut for the former administration. Later it was revealed that the cargos apparently went missing and the government never saw the proceeds.

Zanjani says he managed to get around the sanctions to sell oil abroad during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After the controversial Ahmadinejad left office, Zanjani was in the dock and found guilty of embezzling more than €2.7 billion after Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who pledged to tackle corruption, became president in 2013. He was sentenced to death on March 6 and the final verdict on his appeal has not been announced yet.

------- Export of Oil Byproducts

On the export of other petroleum products, Qamsari noted that mazut and diesel exports reach 500,000 tons per month and plans are underway to boost outbound supplies. Furthermore, NIOC exports 150,000 tons of LPG, which will increase as new phases of South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf become operational.

The country also reportedly exports LPG through state-run National Iranian Gas Company and the National Petrochemical Company.

Referring to the noticeable decline in gasoline imports, he said, "Iran imported 12 million liters of gasoline per day three years ago. This has been cut to 9 million liters and plans call for reducing it to 7.5 million liters" in the second half of the current Iranian fiscal year that started in March.

Stressing that Iran is looking to put an end to a six-year hiatus in its oil swap operations in the Caspian Sea, the senior official said, “NIOC has assigned Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) to resume oil swap with neighboring countries."

Sanctions disrupted the oil swaps with northern neighbors who turned to the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan Pipeline as an alternate route to carry crude oil to Europe.