Tanker owners refuse to ship Iranian oil





Tanker owners refuse to ship Iranian oil

US sanctions against Iran are forcing even Chinese companies to stop cooperating with Tehran despite Beijing’s firm position, saying that China does not intend to leave Iran.

Around the Iranian oil, in connection with the second package of US sanctions against Iran, which will come into force on November 4, there is a big game now and serious passions are boiling. The success of American pressure on Tehran in the most painful place - the energy sector is largely dependent on Asian buyers of Iranian oil. And first of all, of course, from its largest importers: China and India. Beijing has repeatedly stated that it does not intend to curtail the purchase of Iranian oil in favor of Washington. Delhi is less categorical: on the one hand, the Indians do not want to give up Iranian oil, and on the other, they do not want to spoil relations with Washington either. As a result, a compromise arose. India is symbolically reducing oil purchases from Iran to show that, albeit formally, it is ready to comply with US sanctions.

It would seem that Tehran can take a breath - the main buyers intend to buy oil from him after November 4, the main source of income to the treasury. At least now, more than two months before the “oil” sanctions entered into force, they say that Washington does not decree them.

Of course, it will be necessary to still see whether the position of Beijing and especially Delhi will change on November 4, but it is already clear that not everything is so simple. Despite the unambiguous position of the Chinese government, Iran’s oil to the Middle Kingdom for the second month, starting in July, is being transported exclusively by Iranian tankers. Chinese shipowners are afraid to do this out of fear of being subject to US sanctions. The situation with Western companies, which, although they recognize the profitability of cooperation with Iran primarily in the energy sector, nevertheless, leaves Iran on the eve of November 4, because despite all the profitability, the Iranian market cannot be compared with the US market, access to which they will be closed if they continue to work with Tehran. Even worse is the threat of closing the American financial system in front of them.

Tanker owners refuse to transport Iranian oil also because they do not want to lose Texas oil and oil from the Gulf of Mexico. The last "refuse" was the other day, the French oil and gas giant Total, officially announcing its departure from Iran.


The result was, if I may say so, a “one-sided” situation: all 17 tankers that carried and carry Iranian oil to China in July and August, fly under the flag of Iran and belong, according to Bloomberg, to the national shipping company National Iranian Tanker Co. The contrast with what was, say, three months ago, is obvious: at that time almost half of the ships transporting Iranian oil to the Celestial Empire were Chinese.

Of course, the Iranian fleet of supertankers (VLCC) and the biggest of them - Suezmax-type tankers, which are able to pass fully loaded through the Strait of Suez, have always played an important role in delivering oil to customers, but now that insurers and international shipowners are afraid of being affected by American sanctions, its role has grown immeasurably.

China is the largest buyer of oil in the world and the main importer of Iranian oil. Not all Iranian clients followed his example of continuing to cooperate with Tehran in the energy sphere. For example, South Korea and Japan, ranking third and fourth in the rating of Iranian oil buyers, have already significantly reduced their purchases of oil from Tehran on the eve of November 4.

Shipowners from India, the second largest importer of Iranian oil in terms of purchases, followed the example of their Chinese colleagues. For the second month Tehran has also been forced to ship oil to India only on its own tankers.
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