Iran shipped its first cargo of oil to Europe since international sanctions ended, signaling more supplies will add to the global glut of crude.
The Suezmax vessel Distya Akula departed Iran’s loading terminal at Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf and was located Saturday in the Gulf of Oman off the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Suezmaxes can hold 1 million barrels of oil. The draft of the Distya Akula vessel in the water indicated it is full, according to the ship tracking data.
Iran is trying to rebuild its oil output after sanctions were lifted in January, with plans to boost production and exports by 1 million barrels a day this year. Supply deals were signed with Total SA of France and Hellenic Petroleum SA of Greece. Iran pumped 2.86 million barrels a day in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Iran is planning three initial shipments to Europe carrying 4 million barrels of oil with 2 million barrels going to Total and the rest to companies from Spain and Russia, Roknoddin Javadi, managing director of National Iranian Oil Co., said on Saturday, according to the Iranian Oil Ministry’s news service Shana. The first oil consignment for Europe was set to load on Sunday, he said.
Total, Spanish refiner Compania Espanola de Petroleos and Russia’s Lukoil PJSC all booked cargoes of Iranian crude to sail from Kharg Island to European ports, according to shipping reports compiled by Bloomberg earlier this month. The vessels included one very large crude carrier, a tanker capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude, and two smaller Suezmax- sized vessels with capacity of about 1 million barrels each.
Total chartered the VLCC Atlantas, Spain’s Cepsa booked the Suezmax Monte Toledo and Litasco, Lukoil’s trading unit, booked the Distya Akula, according to fixture data compiled by Bloomberg. The Atlantas is scheduled to head for European ports, the Monte Toledo for Spain and the Distya Akula for Constantza, Romania, the data show.
The Atlantas was at Kharg Island and not yet full as of Saturday, while the Monte Toledo was on its way to Kharg Island on Sunday, according to the data.”The loading operation of the three tankers at Kharg terminals will be done within 48 hours,” Pirouz Mousavi, managing director of Iran Oil Terminals Co., told semi-official Mehr news agency on Sunday.