In November 2018, the US government issued Significant Reduction Exemptions (SREs) waivers to eight countries that were committed to decreasing the purchase of Iranian oil; China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.
China dismissed a warning issued by the US Department of State not to provide services to the tanker ‘Pacific Bravo’ carrying Iranian crude oil, noting that energy deals between the international community and the Middle East nation should be respected.
The US announced that it is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region, as a response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings to Iran. The country also clarified that it is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but it is ‘fully prepared to respond to any attack.
Libya seized a sanctioned Iranian ship off the coast of Misrata, as there were claims that it was carrying weapons. The container Shahr E Kord had left Bulgaria, with Misrata in western Libya being its destination. According to the interior ministry, the container ship was loaded with 144 containers. As a result, the attorney general ordered the seizure and an investigation of the ship.
The Significant Reduction Exemptions (SREs) granted last November to eight countries by the US for Iranian crude oil imports will not be renewed and are due to expire on 2 May 2019, the US State Department announced.
Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if it was not allowed to use the strategic waterway through which around a fifth of oil that is consumed globally passes. This came after the US announcement that it will end exemptions awarded last year to eight buyers of Iranian oil, demanding them to stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on April 22 that the United States will end all exceptions for countries currently purchasing oil from Iran. As he specifically, said the country will no longer grant any exceptions. ‘We’re going to zero across the board’. Countries that had previously bought Iran’s crude oil have been transitioning to new suppliers.
OPEC crude production reduced by 240,000 b/d in February to 30.68 million b/d, which is the lowest level in 4 years. According to Gibson Shipbrokers, February numbers indicate a significant over compliance, with Saudi Arabia leading efforts to implement cuts with a 153% compliance rate, some 170,000 b/d already below their overall target.
Indian refiners are to lift 8 million barrels of Iranian oil in April, a decrease of 12% in comparison to March because the nation is under discussions with the US to renew the waiver from US sanctions against Tehran, Reuters reports.
The Swedish Club has previously advised that sanctions against Iran cause payment problems because banks have proven reluctant to make any payments having even a connection with Iran notwithstanding that the payment may be perfectly legitimate. In line with its previous announcement, the Club now informed that the problem is not isolated to Iran.
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