Iran seeks foreign tankers amid hiking crude export
Tehran, Iran, May 16
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iran is seeking foreign tankers to carry its crude overseas now that its export has doubled in just a few months.
During the sanctions period, 90 percent of the country's crude used to be carried by Iranian tankers, but now 50 percent of the export is carried on board foreign tankers, Head of the Archives and Information Office of Kharg Oil Export Terminal Ebrahim Hosseini told Mehr news agency on May 16.
Iran's crude export shrunk from 2.3 mbpd to 1 mbpd after the European Union sanctions were imposed on Iran in 2011 and 2012. The country was freed from the sanctions in January. Now it is exporting at 2 mbpd.
Hosseini said that the tankers come mostly from Spain, Romania, Norway, China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Turkey.
Iran has dismissed an oil freeze plan that has been raised by key OPEC and non-OPEC producers, requiring the global production of oil to remain at January levels. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh termed the freeze call "a new set of sanctions" arrived just in time to cover for the previous ones.
Iran has 55-60 oil tankers in its fleet, a recent report says. But the country faces a struggle to increase oil exports because many of its tankers are tied up storing crude, some are not seaworthy, and foreign shipowners remain reluctant to carry its cargoes.
Eight foreign tankers, carrying a total of around 8 million barrels of oil, have shipped Iranian crude to European destinations since sanctions were lifted in January.