Iran’s oil tanker fleet being squeezed as sanctions bite

Iran’s oil tanker fleet being squeezed as sanctions bite

Iran is running short of options to replace its ageing fleet of tankers and keep oil exports flowing because renewed U.S. sanctions are making potential sellers and flag registries wary of doing business with Tehran, Western and Iranian sources said.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in November, exploratory talks with South Korea for up to 10 new supertankers have stalled and Panama has also removed at least 21 Iranian tankers from its registry forcing Tehran to put the vessels under its own flag, the sources said.

Washington has put restrictions on Iran’s port, energy and shipping sectors but it has given temporary waivers to the country’s eight biggest oil customers, which include China, India and Japan, so they can keep buying Iranian crude.

With oil exports accounting for an estimated 70 percent of Iran’s revenues, maintaining a fleet of enough tankers to store and move that oil is crucial for Tehran. Read More

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