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NITC has leased 30 tankers to foreign companies over the past year.
NITC has leased 30 tankers to foreign companies over the past year.

National Iranian Tanker Co Expanding Europe Operations

Despite the easing of sanctions, NITC tankers reportedly faced restrictions in berthing at European oil terminals until recently and foreign vessels carried Iran's crude to Europe

National Iranian Tanker Co Expanding Europe Operations

An increasing number of oil tankers and vessels owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company are headed to European ports, the company's managing director Sirous Kianersi said on Wednesday.
"A NITC-owned tanker that was leased to a major Spanish company recently docked at the country's Port of Algeciras", marking the first time that a vessel owned by NITC docked at a terminal in Europe following the lifting of sanctions a year ago, Kianersi noted, Shana reported.
The official did not elaborate on the tanker's date of arrival or its consignment. But the Spanish company is thought to be Madrid-based oil and gas enterprise Cepsa which purchased its first batch of crude oil from Iran in February.
Port of Algeciras in the south of Spain is one of Europe's largest trade and shipping ports.
In February, three foreign tankers loaded 4 million barrels of crude from the Kharg Oil Terminal in the Persian Gulf for destinations in Europe following orders by Total S.A., Lukoil and Cepsa.
The removal of international sanctions gave a new lease of life to NITC's tanker movements which were significantly curtailed when economic and trade restrictions were in place, according to the official.
"Issues pertaining to global insurance, classification, flag requirements and certifications for Iranian tankers have been removed," Kianersi said.
Despite the easing of sanctions, NITC tankers reportedly faced restrictions in berthing at European oil terminals until recently and foreign vessels carried Iran's crude to Europe.
During the sanctions, 90% of Iran's oil, or almost 1 million barrels per day, were shipped by Iranian tankers.
Two NITC tankers are now on their way to terminals in the Netherlands and "more European countries are joining the destinations of NITC tankers," Kianersi noted.
NITC has leased 30 tankers to foreign companies since the sanctions removal and negotiations have been held to lease more vessels by March, the end of the current Iranian fiscal year.
Iran, the No. 3 producer at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has progressively raised crude output exports over the past year. The country sold around 2.8 million barrels of crude oil and condensates in December, according to government data.
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.
Reportedly, 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.  

 

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