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Iranian crude heads to Poland

30 Jun 2016 12:28 (+01:00 GMT)
Iranian crude heads to Poland

London, 30 June (Argus) — A cargo of Iranian crude has sailed from Iran's main export terminal Kharg Island and is signalling its destination as Gdansk, Poland.

The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Atlantas sailed from Kharg Island on 27 June, tracking data show, and today began signalling its destination as Gdansk. Its size suggests it will take the Cape route, rather than head through the Suez Canal.

Shipping lists indicate the ship is chartered by France's Total, which has a supply contract with Iran and has been steadily lifting Iranian crude since EU and US sanctions were lifted. Total has delivered to Fos-Lavera and Le Havre, both in France, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, tracking suggests, but this would be its first delivery to Gdansk. The export was not directly confirmed.

Iran has been raising crude exports to Europe and the Mediterranean region in recent months, intensifying a market-share battle among Iraqi, Saudi, Kurdish, Kuwaiti and Urals sour grades in the region.

Polish oil company PKN Orlen has also been discussing a potential start of crude supplies from Iran, although no deal is expected in immediate future. A shipping list fixture earlier this month showed PKN scheduled to load crude via a ship-transfer at Malta onto the Suezmax Nordic Castor before taking the cargo to Gdansk. The fixture eventually failed. At the same time, a 1mn bl cargo of Iranian crude chartered by Total was sitting off Malta on board the Suezmax Explorer. The Explorer, which loaded at Kharg Island at the end of May, eventually went to Fos-Lavera.