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Due to the ever growing net of sanctions placed on Iran and its oil and gas industry by the EU and US, over the continuing dispute concerning Iran’s suspect nuclear program, exports have fallen. According to the International Trade Centre, in 2012 oil exports fell by 48% to 66 million metric tonnes, reducing the vital revenue earned by 38% to $52.7 billion.
In July 2012 the EU introduced the sanctions that prevented tankers that transported Iranian crude oil from gaining insurance protection from any European broker. As nearly all ships in the world are insured by brokers from London and the rest of Europe, this left Iran with a serious problem.
NITC, the country’s largest tanker company has taken up as much of the slack as it can and has expanded massively as a result; recently taking delivery of seven new vessels that have boosted its fleet capacity by 23%, according to HIS Maritime data.
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The seven new tankers are all very large crude carriers, able to transport 2 million barrels of oil each, and increasing NITC’s fleet size to a total of 37 supertankers with an overall capacity of 86 million barrels of oil.
A very large crude carrier owned by NITC. (PressTV)
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Clarksons, the integrated shipping service provider, said that three of the new tankers were built at the Waigaoqiao shipyard in Shanghai, whilst the remaining four were built in Dailan. In all 12 supertankers were ordered back in 2009 for a total contract price of $1.2 billion.
Nigel Prentis, the head of consultancy at Hartland Shipping Services Ltd., explained to Bloomberg that “any addition of new tonnage gives NITC the ability to deliver more crude direct to their customers on their own ships, avoiding insurance difficulties. It also allows them to store more crude at sea.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com