Iran stops exporting oil products by foreign container ships

Oil&Gas Materials 16 June 2013 11:08 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jun.16 /Trend F.Karimov/

Iran has stopped exporting a number of oil products, including bitumen, grease, and kinds of industrial oils, by foreign container ships, the Mehr News Agency quoted member of the association of Iranian oil products exporters Hamid Hosseini as saying.

Last year, exports of such oil products by European shipping lines had stopped, he said, adding that exports has been stopped by Chinese and South Korean ships as of June.

However, the private sector has adopted proper policies to resolve the problem and resume the exports, he noted.

Presently, oil product consignments are being transported to Bandar Abbas port and are being exported to international markets from the Persian Gulf states, he added.

Western sanctions drove Iran's crude exports to the lowest in decades in May, according to industry sources and tanker-tracking data, even before Washington toughens measures aimed at squeezing oil sales further, Reuters reported.

Crude shipments dropped to 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) last month, the data from sources showed, about a third of Iran's oil exports before the current round of sanctions.

U.S. and European sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran over its nuclear program have already more than halved Iran's shipments - costing Iran billions of dollars in revenue since the start of 2012. And Washington is now seeking to cut shipments to less than 500,000 bpd through tighter sanctions.

Purchases by major Asian customers last month were about 12 percent down on April, industry sources said. Sales in April had already taken a hit after Japan, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, almost stopped Iranian imports entirely.

Oil sanctions are one of the main tools Washington is using to choke off funding to Tehran's nuclear program. Countries in the West suspect its purpose is to seek the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran says the program is for generating power and medical devices.