Kharg Terminal Expands Oil Loading Capacity

More than 90% of Iran’s crude exports are shipped from Kharg Island.More than 90% of Iran’s crude exports are shipped from Kharg Island.

Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) has completed the strategic project of renovation and overhaul of Kharg Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf with the aim of boosting oil export capacity, managing director of the company said Monday.

“The terminal's crude oil loading capacity has increased to 7 million barrels per day. In other words, 10 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), with a storage capacity of 360,000 tons, can berth simultaneously without restrictions or technical hurdles,” Pirouz Mousavi was quoted as saying by Shana.

Kharg Oil Terminal is located on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf some 25 kilometers off the coast of Iran. According to officials, more than 90% of Iran’s crude exports are shipped from the key island.

Underscoring the fact that the terminal's facilities have been overhauled with the help of domestic firms, the official said IOTC operations conform to international standards.

"The overhaul of marine loading arms in Kharg Island expedited oil loading rate by more than 100,000 barrels per hour," Mousavi noted, adding that Asian and European VLCCs pick crude in the shortest time possible.

  STS Transfer

Asked about exports via ship-to-ship (STS) method in addition to using loading arms, Mousavi said the development of infrastructure in Kharg Oil Terminal during the past two years had made STS transfer possible.

An STS operation is the transfer of cargo between seagoing ships positioned alongside, either while sailing or stationary. Cargo typically transferred via STS methods includes crude oil, liquefied natural gas and petroleums.

Most cargo movement takes place between a ship and a land-based terminal. However, it sometimes can be useful in transferring cargo from one ship to another in the open seas. One vessel operates as the terminal while the other moors.

Kharg Island is the largest and main export terminal in Iran. It processes onshore and offshore production from the Forouzan field. The island’s oil storage capacity is about 28 million barrels.

Iran, currently the third-largest producer of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has already raised crude production and exports to wrest back the share it lost to other producers.

International sanctions cut Iranian crude exports from a peak of 2.5 million bpd before 2011 to just over 1 million bpd. Crude output is now close to 3.8 million barrels a day and exports are near 2.8 million barrels per day.


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