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Eni’s Oil Tanker Fiasco

After refusing last month to take an oil cargo over suspicions that its origin could have been at least partially Iranian, Italy’s oil major Eni has now filed a fraud complaint against its ex head of oil trading for having misled all parties in the spot cargo deal.

Eni fired the head of oil trading Alessandro Des Dorides at the end of May over a different, unrelated deal with small Italian oil trading company, Napag, in 2018, the Italian major said, as carried by Reuters.

In the fraud complaint filed with the prosecutor’s office in Milan, Eni accuses Des Dorides of misleading the parties to the deal and of having concealed the role of Napag in it, according to the filing seen by Reuters.

Eni told Reuters that the reason for Des Dorides’ termination was a petrochemical deal with Napag from last year that is unrelated to last month’s curious case when Eni refused to receive a cargo intended for the Milazzo refinery in Sicily because there were red flags that the tanker loaded with 1 million barrels of crude oil may have carried, at least partially, oil originating from Iran.

Eni, like all major western oil firms, stopped trading Iranian oil when the U.S. slapped sanctions on Iran’s oil exports in early November, in order to not run afoul of a U.S. Administration determined to drive Iranian crude exports to zero and to sanction entities dealing with Iran.

Eni rejected last month the cargo on the White Moon oil tanker, saying that the specifications of the crude were different from those of Iraq’s grade Basra Light, which it had contracted to buy.

According to two sources at Eni who spoke to Reuters, the cargo created panic at Eni that the whole shipment may have all the hallmarks of Iran ghosting its oil, and that the tanker could be loaded, at least partially, with Iranian crude.

After the tanker fiasco, Eni has moved to revamp the top management in its oil trading division, Reuters reports.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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