Half Iran tanker fleet storing oil at sea

By REUTERS
April 23, 2012 17:38

SINGAPORE - Iran has been forced to deploy more than half its fleet of supertankers to store oil at anchorage in the Gulf as buyers of its crude cut back because of sanctions, two Iran-based shipping sources said.

The sources, who are familiar with operations at Iran's main export terminal Kharg Island in the north of the Gulf, said 14 of National Iranian Tanker Company's (NITC) fleet of 25 very large crude carriers, each loaded with about 2 million barrels of oil, are now at anchor acting as floating storage.

A further five of Iran's nine Suezmax tankers, with capacity of one million barrels, are also parked offshore with oil aboard.

That means that of Iran's 59-million-barrel fleet of VLCCs and Suezmax sized tankers, 33 million barrels of capacity are being used to store crude at sea in the Gulf, or 56 percent of the fleet.


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