Iran’s exports of crude oil to Europe surged after the EU lifted most of the trade and financial restrictions against the country in January 2016.
Platts energy news service reported that Iran had sent a total of 63 major crude cargoes to France, Italy, Greece and Spain over the past year.
The largest number of shipments belonged to France at 21. Italy and Greece were the next top destinations of Iranian oil, each receiving 15 and 14 tankers from the country. Spain came closely in the fourth place by receiving 13 tankers.
The shipments were made with very large crude carriers (VLCCs), Suezmaxes, and Aframaxes containers, Platts added, quoting a report by UK-based shipping consultancy VesselsValue.
Iranian crude exports via tankers jumped to 563 shipments last year from 66 in 2012, when the sanctions were imposed, and up from 277 in 2015, VesselsValue was quoted as saying.
Iran’s crude oil and gas condensate exports were expected to rise to about 2.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) last month from some 2.16 mb/d in January.
Europe’s share of Iranian oil exports was 767,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December 2016, up by 10 percent from November, and very close to pre-sanction export levels that averaged 800,000 bpd.
Not only destinations of Iranian crude were diverse in 2016, the countries of origin of the owners of ships being used to transport oil have also diversified, Platts further quoted VesselsValue as saying in its report.
During the sanctions, the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) was the biggest company providing ships to load from Iran, followed by Irano Hind, Idemitsu Tanker, JX Ocean and Kline. NITC continues to be the leading shipowner of vessels carrying Iranian crude, but now shipowners include such from Belgium and Greece, VesselsValue’s report added.