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.
Reuters reports that Iran is unlikely to block the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest oil-shipping channel, in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, due to fear of aggravating its Gulf allies as well as China.
Japan has decided to dispatch a warship and patrol planes to the Arabian Gulf, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, in spite of increased tensions in the Middle East.
The US Treasury Department announced additional US sanctions against Iran, in response to the state’s missile attack against a US air base in Iraq, making now trade with Iran in almost all industry sectors off limits for US, as well as non-US persons.
Despite the fact that the US and Iran seem keen on avoiding further conflict, oil and gas shipowners are preparing to pay a price from the tension that was created after the rocket strikes in Iraq over the last week.
Reuters reports that Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has ordered its ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz. According to a statement, the decision was taken after consultations with Brazil’s Navy, not affect Petrobras’ fuel supply in Brazil.
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