Iran’s oil trade under sanctions regime

The Iranian regime’s attempts to evade sanctions have become more complicated since Western powers introduced new measures in the middle of last year, which specifically targeted oil and gas trade, according to Reuters.

The news agency added that traders said any company dealing with the Iranian regime struggled to obtain letters of credit, needed to guarantee transactions.

Reuters said shipping sources said this week that the regime was storing crude oil at sea on 12 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which can hold a maximum of 24 million barrels.

A further 12 million barrels of crude oil was being held in shorter term storage involving shuttle transits to the Red Sea oil terminal of Sidi Kerir, they said.

Although Iran is OPEC’s second biggest crude producer after Saudi Arabia, its inadequate refinery infrastructure made it an importer of gasoline.

Reuters said analysts and traders have agreed gasoline imports have fallen drastically, but have said some shipments from friendly powers like Venezuela have gone through.

Demand has fallen in Iran as subsidies have been reduced by the regime, meaning prices for gasoline have increased, according to Reuters.

But traders said the Iranian regime was still not able to import as much as it needed, Reuters said.

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