June 13, 2018
An oil tanker hauling Iranian crude is making the first delivery to Chile in at least 16 years, a sign the Persian Gulf country may be seeking out new customers for its oil in the face of renewed US sanctions.
The Monte Toledo, a Suezmax-class tanker able to transport 1 million barrels, is due to reach the Pacific Coast port of San Vicente on July 12, according to signals from the ship, World Oil reported.
Iran is battling to keep customers around the world after US President Donald Trump said a month ago he would reimpose sanctions on the country, which has created uncertain among buyers whether they will be able to continue purchasing, and on what scale.
Chilean government data show the country has not imported any crude from Iran in at least 16 years. ENAP, which has a refinery at San Vicente, was not immediately available for comment.
In Europe, refiners and traders are still awaiting clarity as to whether they will be permitted to make proportional reductions in purchases from Iran—or be forced to halt such trade altogether.
In India, the refining giant Reliance Industries Ltd. had not decided at the end of May if it would stop importing oil from Iran and was waiting for direction from the government, people familiar with the matter said at the time.
When Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran on May 8, he gave buyers of the country’s oil 180 days to reduce their purchases or be shut out of the US banking system. Since that initial announcement, several European refiners said they have received no indication from Washington or their own governments about what they should do next.
The European Union sent a letter to the US Treasury on June 4 asking for exemptions from sanctions.