Iraq Sets Up Oil Shipping, Trading Joint Venture
Iraq Sets Up Oil Shipping, Trading Joint Venture

Iraq Sets Up Oil Shipping, Trading Joint Venture

Iraq Sets Up Oil Shipping, Trading Joint Venture

OPEC member Iraq has formed a joint venture with a shipping company owned by Arab states to transfer, store and trade crude and oil products, according to official documents and industry sources.
Middle East oil producers are venturing into buying and selling oil to boost their incomes, as a sharp drop in crude prices since mid-2014 has forced the industry to become more efficient and commercially focused, Reuters reported.
The venture, Al-Iraqia Shipping Services and Oil Trading, will handle a "plethora of activities ranging from trading of petroleum products, ship chartering, oil terminals, various marine services and bunkering", according to a company statement sent to Reuters.
AISSOT is owned by state firm Iraqi Oil Tankers Company and Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company, a pan-Arab company in which Arab oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait hold a share.
IOTC owns a stake of 22.5% in AISSOT, according to a copy of the signed 20-year contract seen by Reuters.
"Formation of AISSOT is based on Iraqi Oil Ministry vision to further strengthen activities of two major entities i.e. AMPTC and IOTC in the field of shipping, marine services and oil trading," the company said in a statement.
"It is also one of Iraqi Oil Ministry’s initiatives to develop national oil companies to international levels."
AISSOT, which will soon start bunkering operations at Iraq's southern ports, is the second oil venture recently set up by the country.
State oil marketer SOMO and Russia's Litasco formed a joint trading company in Dubai to market crude and may expand into oil products and petrochemicals, industry sources said.
"The new venture will have exclusive rights for transportation of crude and refined products. It will develop other projects and include trading, starting with fuel oil and products and can eventually get into crude oil allocations," said an industry source familiar with the company's operations.
AISSOT will be based in Dubai with plans to open offices in Singapore and other hubs. It has around 25 employees now and intends to go up to 50 in Dubai by the yearend, the source said.


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