| Code: 61743 |

TIN news:        Another tanker has left Iran’s floating storage fleet, the fourth to detach from one of two flotillas based in the Persian Gulf since Iran’s landmark nuclear deal July 14, Platts cFlow ship-tracking software shows.
The National Iranian Tanker Company-owned Nancy had been observed anchored off Kharg Island for 135 days until August 19, when its transponder was shut off, making the ship “invisible” to vessel-tracking software. The 2.1 million-barrel vessel then reappeared briefly Sunday in the UAE’s Fujairah waiting zone — where ships often bunker prior to long journeys or conduct ship-to-ship transfers — before going invisible Monday, bound for an unknown destination, Platts cFlow data showed.
Sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program are unlikely to be lifted before the end of the year. The UN’s nuclear watchdog is scheduled to deliver its final report on Iranian compliance with the July deal by December 15.
Analysts at ESAI Energy said earlier in July that given the volume of oil held afloat the market should “expect some minor leakage” before sanctions are officially removed.
Since the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers was reached, three other tankers have also left the storage flotilla of OPEC’s third-biggest producer, the first being the NITC’s Starla — which had been anchored off Kharg Island for over 216 days.
The Tanzanian-flagged vessel similarly visited the Khor Fakkan waiting zone and sailed July 15 for Malacca, Malaysia, where it went invisible July 28. The ship reappeared Friday further up the coast, but was heading back to Fujairah. Whether the Starla discharged its cargo at a particular Asian port or conducted a ship-to-ship transfer remains unknown.
Toward the end of July, the Sol, an NITC Suezmax with a capacity of 1 million barrels, also detached from the storage fleet and is currently sailing in North Asia bound for the South Korean port of Ulsan.
At the beginning of August, the NITC’s VLCC the Nobel left the flotilla, sailing to Fujairah where it switched off its transponder August 9 — going unobserved since — with its future port destination unknown.
If fully laden, the total cargoes of these ships — apart from the Korean-bound Sol — account for around 6 million barrels.
Platts estimated Monday that the amount of Iranian crude oil and condensate held afloat was between 51 million and 53 million barrels, stored on a combination of vessel classes and on both NITC and non-NITC-owned ships.
The crude and condensate in Iran’s floating stockpiles could be sold relatively quickly once sanctions against Iran are lifted, while some analysts suggest that some of this oil could be exported ahead of the official sanctions relief.
Iran is currently exporting around 1 million b/d of crude, less than half the 2.2 million-2.3 million b/d exported before the EU and US imposed crippling oil and financial sanctions in mid-2012.
China, Japan, India, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan presently import around 1 million b/d of Iranian crude collectively. They have been able to do so without falling foul of US financial sanctions by reducing their pre-2012 sanctions volumes.

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