American Oil Boom Tempting Ships to Steer Clear of Iran

The latest standoff between the US and Iran may be leaving oil-tanker owners in more of a bind than in previous years.

As the US reimposes sanctions on the Islamic Republic. firms that help ferry Iranian oil risk losing access to the American financial system. similar to earlier in the decade when such measures were enforced. Additionally. this time around. they`ll have to contend with being cut off from the booming business of transporting crude pumped from shale fields in Texas or wells in the Gulf of Mexico. according to shipbroker Braemar ACM.

The US is shipping record amounts of crude following the end of an export ban in late 2015. a few months after Iran and world powers reached a deal that eased sanctions on the Middle East nation in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. After President Donald Trump pulled out of that accord earlier this month. the jump in American shipments is making tanker owners consider whether to stick with or shy away from the Persian Gulf state.

`If you`re an operator of young. modern tonnage that can berth and lift cargoes from the US. you won`t want to be exposed to Iran.` said Anoop Singh. an analyst at Braemar ACM. `Vessels associated with Iranian oil are likely to be banned from US oil trade for about two years –- and this would matter more now that the US exports its crude oil.`

 

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