Iran is looking around the world for used tankers to replace the aging fleet and keep major crude oil exports in circulation as the US sanctions become flagrant, according to Iranian and Western sources.
Since the US President Donald Trump reprinted sanctions in November, investigative communication with South Korea over 10 new reservists stagnated, Panama has withdrawn at least 21 of Iranian oil from its records and Tehran is looking for ships in nations such as Vietnam, the sources said.
Washington has imposed restrictions on Iran’s ports, transportation, and energy sectors, but has granted exemptions to the country’s eight largest oil consumers, including Japan, China, and India, to permit them to carry on buying Iranian crude.
As oil exports account for about 70% of Iranian revenues, it is essential to maintain an efficient fleet of oil tankers to store and transport oil. But potential sellers of used ships are more cautious this time after a Greek network that helped Iran buy oil tankers was blocked under earlier sanctions. Western insurers have also taken clear steps, impacting Iran’s efforts to export crude oil to the US buyers.
If Iran finds it hard to ship its oil, it might have a considerable impact. In addition to the weight of oil in its budget, Iran will produce about 2.8 million barrels per day or more than 9% of OPEC’s production.
In addition to India, Japan, and China, Washington has also given a green signal for other countries such as South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Greece, and Italy to continue buying oil from Iran, though it is not clear if these exemptions will be extended when they expire in May.
“The biggest problem faced by insurers now is being a bank willing to find payment for goods or services that the beneficiary is designated by the United States as a method,” says Salthouse, chair of the sanctions subcommittee International group.