Fortune, the Iranian tanker, is sailing towards the 12-nm boundary of Venezuela’s territorial seas, bringing its controversial journey to a close.
On May 9, shipping traffic at Iran’s busy Shahid Rajaee port terminal came to a sudden and inexplicable halt. Namely, the computers all crashed at once, leading to massive backups on waterways and roads.
Iran’s foreign minister warned the US against using its navy in the Caribbean to disrupt Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela.
A Hong Kong-flagged tanker was briefly detained in Iran before being freed, as armed Iranian guards in speedboats directed the vessel into its waters while it was sailing through the Gulf of Oman.
According to Reuters, the US Department of State identified seven companies that has blacklisted, due to their involvement in Iranian petrochemincals’ transport, marketing and sale. In fact, three of the seven companies are Chinese-based, while another three are in Hong Kong and one in South Africa.
The US will soon issue advisories warning shippers, port officials and insurance companies that it “will target anybody that stores Iranian oil, petrochemicals or refined petroleum in violation of US sanctions”. The US will encourage captains to take photos of anyone conducting illegal STS transfers.
Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) has allocated 36 trillion rials (=$857.2 million) of its budget resources for a program to develop the country’s maritime industry, including the construction of 83 vessels, the head of PMO informed.
During the Iran-Syria Joint Committee on Port and Maritime Cooperation, Mohammed Rastad, the managing Director of PMO and the Syrian Deputy Minister of Maritime Transport agreed to consider maritime cooperation development, maritime training between the two countries.
The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) published its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), forecasting that the Brent crude oil spot price will average $65 per barrel (b) in 2020 and $68/b in 2021 and that the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot price will average $59/b in 2020 and $62/b in 2021.
In fact, the Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Product Distribution Company (NIOPDC)’s Markazi Department recently said that low-sulfur fuel oil needed for the country’s vessels is now fully supplied and distributed by the company.
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