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NITC has leased eight more tankers over the past two months.
NITC has leased eight more tankers over the past two months.

NITC Broadens Leasing Program as Insurance Cover Extended

Iranian tankers and supertankers now frequently berth at international ports, including in Russia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Turkey and the UAE

NITC Broadens Leasing Program as Insurance Cover Extended

National Iranian Tanker Company is expanding operations and services overseas. The state tanker company has leased 20 tankers and vessels to foreign companies since the easing of international sanctions in January, the chief executive said.
"NITC managed some of the world's biggest tanker leasing operations before the sanctions. We resumed negotiations with foreign companies after the nuclear deal came into effet. The number of leased NITC tankers reached 20 by the end of last month," Sirous Kianersi said in an interview with ILNA.
This is a major expansion in NITC rentals, as the company has leased eight more tankers over the past two months.
However one reason behind the rise in leasing contracts is that Iranian tankers are still having difficulty to sail in Europe.
"Negotiations have been held to call on European destinations and the NITC fleet is ready to enter European ports," Kianersi said.
Economic and trade sanctions imposed over the nuclear energy program were eased in January following a historic agreement between Tehran and the six world powers in July 2015 that called for limiting Iran's nuclear activities.
Kianersi said Iranian tankers and supertankers now frequently berth at international ports, including in Russia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Nearly all Europe-bound shipments of crude oil and gas condensates have been made by foreign carriers. According to reports, one Iranian tanker carried oil to an unspecified terminal in Europe in June. 
Iran used to sell as much as 700,000 barrels a day to Europe before the sanctions were tightened in 2011 and 2012.
The first shipment of Iranian oil to Europe was made in mid-February, as three foreign vessels transported 4 million barrels of crude from Iran's Kharg terminal in the Persian Gulf to terminals in Europe at the behest of Cepsa, Total and Lukoil.
Kianersi noted that NITC handles most of the exports under the so-called delivered ex-ship (DES) contract, under which the NITC remains responsible for the goods until they are delivered at an agreed port of arrival.

------- Insurance Cover
Flagship private shipping insurance group, the International P&I Club, has resumed coverage for the NITC fleet, Kianersi recalled, adding that all ships and vessels owned by the company are now under the cover of the International Group Agreement—an insurance framework observed by P&I clubs.
The group protects more than 90% of the world’s crude carriers against risks, which include spills. Iran largely used Kish P&I, backed in part by the government, for shipping insurance when sanctions were in place.
NITC has expanded its fleet to 69 tankers and very large crude carriers with a total capacity of 15.5 million tons.
Iran has 42 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), nine Suezmaxes, five Aframaxes and several other ships, with the fleet’s average age at around 8.5 years. 
NITC operates one of the world's largest tanker fleet ahead of regional rival Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar, Oman and the UAE, according to the United Nations' 2015 Maritime Transport report.
Shipping sources say NITC has more than 40 tankers that are new and modern enough to export oil. 
The top oil-shipping company is reportedly considering plans to list some of its shares in domestic and international markets in an effort to raise cash to upgrade or replace some of its aging carriers.
According to Kianersi, who took the helm at NITC in October, his company is planning to increase the number of ships to carry liquefied gas cargo, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

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