LONDON - Turkey is struggling to import Iranian oil in July because of Western sanctions on ship insurance, trading and shipping sources told Reuters, leaving Tehran battling to sell oil now stuck in storage tanks in Egypt.
Turkey, which relies on Iran for half its crude needs, has already cut imports of Iranian oil by a fifth from average levels of 2011 to win waivers from US sanctions.
But volumes will now likely fall much steeper as Turkish main refiner Tupras cannot import Iranian oil on Turkish tankers after European Union sanctions against Tehran stopped the region's firms, which dominate the marine insurance sector, from offering cover on Iranian crude.
"Tupras was lifting Iranian crude with its own tankers up until July... This is no longer possible... They are now focusing more on lifting from Libya, Saudi Arabia and Iraq with its tankers," said a Turkey-based shipping source.