Iran warns against Israeli threat to attack Iranian oil tankers

Nellie Chapman
March 15, 2019

Hook pointed to US Energy Information Administration projections that global oil supply will outweigh demand in 2019, indicating that a removal of US waivers on Iranian imports could be done without dramatically impacting the market.

India is hopeful that the USA will extend the waiver from sanctions on its oil imports from Iran when the current six-month period expires in early May following Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale's talks with senior officials in Washington this week.

Iran is, of course, trying to keep its procuration efforts under the radar as it struggles to keep crude exports going following the re-imposition of crippling US sanctions.

Thanks to the remarkable strength in shale production, the United States will account for 70 percent of the growth in global oil production through 2024, transforming the global oil markets and trade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its annual oil market forecast this week.

With overflow of defense know-how, many other non-defense problems and deficiencies would be resolved, he said adding that the Iranian technicians and experts of the defense sector are increasingly called on to cooperate with the auto making industry.

A senior Iranian official played down the threat to its oil exports because of pressure on its fleet.

India has been allowed by Washington to continue to buy about 300,000 bpd oil till early May.

Iranian officials, however, are trying to appear positive and upbeat regarding the sanctions. Insurance companies in the West are also hesitant to get involved.

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Which is bad math, because Iran is exporting 1.25 million barrels per day as of February.

The US reimposed sanctions in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers.

To ensure extension of exemptions from US sanctions, India has been engaged in extensive deliberations with the USA authorities, according to Indian petroleum officials.

Shipping records show that 16 of Iran's tankers are at least 19 years old - and three of those vessels have been in service since 1996.

After Western sanctions were lifted, Iran also started talks with South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. about forming a joint venture to establish a shipyard in Iran.

According to one shipping source, Iran has been searching for more ships in Vietnam and two sources said it had also been looking for middlemen in the Greek market, one of the main hubs for second-hand ship deals.

Iran has more than 50 tankers, but this month, for example, it's using 12 of those to store oil in floating storage at sea, according to MarineTraffic data cited by Reuters.

All eight are in bilateral talks about the waivers, sources said.

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