The 270,000-ton supertanker Delvar, part of the fleet of the National Iranian Tanker Co., arrived on Thursday at Bukom Island, where Shell’s 500,000 barrel-per-day refinery is located, Reuters reported on Saturday.
The report added that Shell’s continued involvement with Iranian oil is legal as the European Union’s ban on the Iranian crude will take effect from July 1, 2012.
The Delvar arrived on February 23 off Indonesia’s Karimun Island, an offshore storage point near the oil-trading hub of Singapore that is often used for ship-to-ship transfers (STS).
The vessel then moved into Singapore waters on February 26 after discharging a cargo into a 60,000-ton China-bound tanker, Xuan Wu Hu, bound for an oil complex in Huizhou, where China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and Shell jointly operate a petrochemical complex.
European Union foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran and to freeze the assets of the Iranian Central Bank across the EU. The sanctions will become fully effective on July 1, 2012, to give the EU member states enough time to adjust to the new conditions and find alternative crude oil supplies.
The EU decision followed the imposition of similar sanctions by Washington on Iranian energy and financial sectors on New Year’s Eve, seeking to punish other countries for buying Iran oil or dealing with its central bank.
According to the industry sources, Shell takes around 100,000 bpd of Iranian crude into Europe and a similar quantity into Japan under a deal with the Japanese company Showa Shell.
On February 19, Iran stopped oil exports to the British and French firms in line with the decision to end crude exports to six European states in response to sanctions imposed on the country’s energy sector.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said that the country has no problem in exporting and selling crude oil to its customers.
Iran announced on February 21 that it will only continue exporting oil to the European Union if the member states guarantee they will pay the price and sign medium- and long-term oil purchase contracts