ENOC realizes another supply of crude oil to Iran despite US sanctions

ENOC realizes another supply of crude oil to Iran despite US sanctions
# 18 August 2017 09:10 (UTC +04:00)

The fourth crude oil cargo under the Russian flag vessel VF Tanker-20 with 6,265 thousand tons of Turkmen oil produced by Dragon Oil has arrived to the Iranian port of Neka on August 6.

Notably, at the end of July, vessel VF Tanker-20, carried crude oil produced by Dragon Oil, arrived on roads of Baku port, Azerbaijan. However, after one week delay, caused by detection of some undeclared cargo on board, suddenly rushed to Iranian port of Neka and discharged crude oil to the terminal, operated by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

It should be noted that, NIOC (National Iranian Oil Company) and NICO (trade structure of NIOC), as well as their units in various countries are included in the US sanctions list.

Media representatives tried to contact marketing director of Dragon Oil Ahmad Assadi and clarify the situation. However, when Assad heard the journalist's question he hung up and did not answer the calls later.

Assad's reluctance to answer questions from press is entirely explained by the fact that having US citizenship, he nevertheless works for a company that, despite US sanctions, sends ships to Iran.

Notably, On August 7, VF Tanker-20 loaded a new cargo of crude oil in Aladja port, Turkmenistan, and moved towards direction of Baku, Azerbaijan. However, soon after exiting the territorial waters of Turkmenistan, the ship turned to the south and later arrived to Neka port in Iran. It would appear, that this maneuver is linked to the fact, that Dragon Oil and ENOC, most likely, didn’t obtain necessary permissions from Turkmenistan Government authorities (State Customs Services and others), allowing Turkmen crude oil supply to Iran, and, therefore, issued cargo and custom documents, showing port of discharge Baku, Azerbaijan for further transit delivery to Europe.

It is not excluded, that Dragon Oil will not be able to obtain such permission at all, due to the serious worsening of relations between Turkmenistan and Iran after a dispute over payment for Turkmen natural gas delivered to Iran and intention of Iranian side to sue Turkmenistan in international arbitration courts.

Moreover, such movements of the ship may be explained, as the attempts of Dragon Oil and ENOC to hide the true destination of crude oil delivery – Iran, and, therefore, to avoid being included into the list of companies, violating US sanctions against Iran.

It remains questionable until when DragonOil and ENOC will manage to bypass generally accepted norms and standards.