Southern Terminals Expand Oil Export Capacity

Southern Terminals Expand Oil Export CapacitySouthern Terminals Expand Oil Export Capacity

The Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) is operating at full steam to boost oil exports, says Gholamhossein Gerami, the head of the company's export department. 

“Traffic of oil and condensate tankers in the southern oil terminals, namely Kharg, Asalouyeh and Mahshahr has risen by 40% during the past eight months compared to last year's corresponding period,” Gerami was quoted as saying by Shana.

A subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, IOTC specializes in marine services, crude, oil products and liquefied gas export and offloading operations.

"Large vessels can now berth at southern oil and gas condensate terminals without technical hurdles," Gerami noted, adding that most vessels belong to European oil majors namely France's Total, Italy's Eni, Russia's Lukoil as well as Asian buyers including China, Japan, South Korea and the UAE. 

According to the official, the equipment and facilities in the oil/gas terminals conform to international standards and foreign crude carriers can load oil and gas condensates with no impediment as they have been renovated with the help of domestic experts. 

Asked about different ways of exporting gas condensates from South Pars, he said that three single-point moorings (SPM) as well as the Asaluyeh gas terminal supply condensates to foreign vessels. Plans are in place to install the fourth SPM in the near future, he said without providing details.

Single-point mooring is a loading buoy anchored offshore that serves as a mooring point and interconnect for tankers loading or offloading gas or liquid products.

On exporting hydrocarbons via ship-to-ship method, Gerami said that development of infrastructures in Kharg Oil Terminal during the last two years has made it possible to double gas condensates delivery with STS methods.  

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, bulk cargo and petroleum products.  

According to Gerami, Kharg terminal can accommodate 10 large crude carriers simultaneously without facing technical problems. The terminal exports Iran Heavy, the country's main export grade as well as Iran's Light crude.

  Willing to Restart Oil Swap

"Iran is ready to resume oil swap with the Caspian Sea littoral states after a five-year hiatus," the official noted, saying that IOTC can swap up to 150,000 barrels of oil per day from Central Asia.

Iran is reportedly engaged in swap negotiations with Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

In August, it was said that Iran was ready to resume oil trade under swap deals with its northern neighbors via the North Oil Terminal in Neka.

"Lukoil, Gazprom, Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Zarubezhneft and Tatneft—all have made preliminary agreements with Iranian companies," deputy oil minister for international affairs, Amirhossein Zamaninia had said last year.

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