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Back in July 2012 the EU imposed sanctions that prevented all European organisations from dealing with Iranian institutions. This meant that 95% of the world’s tanker fleet would have to forfeit insurance if they traded Iranian oil, as most maritime insurers are based in Europe.
Now, according to the ship tracking data, analysed by IHS Fairplay, for the first time since July a Chinese supertanker has visited Iran’s largest export terminal at Kharg Island.
Richard Hurley, the senior maritime data specialist at HIS Fairplay, stated; “as far as I can see, this is the first confirmed visit to an Iranian port by a Chinese-owned crude oil carrier since the ban.”
Skuld, the Oslo-based insurance company responsible for providing cover to the Yuan Yang Hu, the tanker in question which happens to be owned by state-run China Ocean Shipping Co., has confirmed that the insurance protection will be automatically invalidated if the ship takes any Iranian oil onboard.
Related article: Iran’s Oil and Gas will not Protect its Rogue Islamic Regime Anymore
China has always been clear that it will not be subjected to the West’s Sanctions against Iran, with Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei, stating that, “China maintains normal and transparent energy cooperation with Iran in accordance with its own energy requirements. We obviously oppose some country imposing sanctions against another country according to their own domestic laws.”
However, even Peoples Republic cannot transport oil without insurance. There was some speculation that they might decide to offer their own tankers some form of insurance cover, but that never occurred.
The reason behind the Yuan Yang Hu’s visit to Iran has not yet been revealed.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com