Iran Ships First Post-Sanction Oil to Europe

Iran has loaded its first oil cargo since the lifting of economic sanctions early January on board a tanker owned by Total SA and the cargo is now bound for Europe, according to the National Iranian Oil Company.

Managing Director of Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC), Pirouz Mousavi said that three oil tankers belonging to three European firms from France, Spain and Russia, berthed in Kharg oil Terminal on Sunday, February 14th, after 4 years of suspension due to the imposed sanctions on the country’s energy sector.

According to Mousavi, it took 48 hours for tankers to be loaded, adding that all the jetties, crude oil reserves, piping, and Kharg oil facilities have been renovated and “that there is not a single technical and operational difficulty for berthing, loading and separation of European and Asian tankers.”

NIOC’s Roknodin Javadi explained that the first three shipments will transport a cargo of 4 million barrels of crude oil, adding that 2 million barrels of the cargo is due to be delivered to France’s Total and the rest will be received by Spanish refiners and a Russian company.

Bloomberg’s data shows that the companies that booked the cargoes are Total, Spanish refiner Compania Espanola de Petroleos and Russia’s Lukoil PJSC, chartering  the VLCC Atlantas, the Suezmax Monte Toledo and the Distya Akula vessel respectively.

As informed, the Atlantas is scheduled to head for European ports, the Monte Toledo for Spain and the Distya Akula for Constantza, Romania.

However,numerous uncertainties remain before Iran can return to the market in full scale. Namely, the country’s Energy Minister has announced that Tehran needs to attract USD 200 billion in international investment to modernize its existing oil infrastructure. What is more, discussions are underway over a new Iranian Petroleum Contract offering more flexible terms and conditions..

“A degree of uncertainty on the timing, structure and implementation of the new oil contract model remains. Given the level of required investment, significant involvement will be required from international parties who will need clarity on the new Iranian operating environment before committing capital and resource. Given the remaining uncertainties and the enduring risk attached to operating in Iran, the sector will take time to attract required investment,” says UK-based energy consultancy Douglas-Westwood in a comment.

World Maritime News Staff

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