Sekavin SA, a Greek fuel supplier, said it’s investigating the origin of a cargo aboard an Iranian tanker off the Mediterranean island of Syros amid a European Union ban on purchases from the Middle East nation.
The Baikal arrived at the Greek island on Monday and has the capacity to carry about 1 million barrels of oil or refined products, ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. The cargo of ship fuel hasn’t been unloaded, Sekavin Operation Manager Yannis Spyridakis said by phone on Tuesday. The vessel is flying the Tanzanian flag, he said.
NITC, a Tehran-based tanker operator, controls the ship and says the company is owned by Iranian pension funds, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The 27-nation EU barred imports of Iran’s oil and refined products in July. The EU and U.S. have intensified sanctions, saying the country’s nuclear program is aimed at producing weapons, a charge Iran has denied.
“It’s clear that sanctions are getting tighter and tighter against Iran,” Samuel Ciszuk, an oil consultant at KBC Energy Economics in Walton-on-Thames, England, said by phone Tuesday. “There is great uncertainty for all parties involved as soon as Iran appears in the supply chain because of the embargo and financial sanctions.”
Habib-ullah Seyedan, NITC’s commercial director, declined to comment by phone Tuesday and said the company’s operations manager was not available for comment.
The Baikal arrived in Greece having been off the coast of Morocco as recently as Nov. 11, the ship-tracking data show. (Full story Bloomberg)