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Is Iran's Oil Output Surge A Bullish Sign For Oil Tankers?

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Is Iran's Oil Output Surge A Bullish Sign For Oil Tankers?

Iran's desire to boost its oil output to regain market share lost during an economic sanction has been widely reported over the past few months. This could have a large impact on not only the price of oil, but also on oil tanker companies.

According to a report from Reuters, more than 25 supertankers owned by European and Asian companies are contracted with shipping Iran oil to end clients. In fact, the country struggled as recently as April in finding suppliers, as some economic sanctions are still imposed on the Tehran regime — which could make shipowners nervous about doing business with the government.

Easing Concerns

However, shipowner concerns appear to be easing, as the country was able to obtain limited "protection and indemnity" insurance to shippers. However, Reuters noted large accidents might not be covered fully, which is preventing many publicly listed shippers such as Euronav NV Ordinary Shares (NYSE: EURN), Teekay Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: TNK) and Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) from doing business in Iran.

Related Link: Clarksons Platou Maintains Buy On Teekay Tankers, Says Dividend Is At Bottom Range Of Expectations

Nevertheless, Iran appears to be proceeding without oil exports as planned. Reuters reported 26 foreign tankers with capacity to deliver more than 25 million barrels of light and heavy crude oil have either been fully loaded in the past two weeks or are scheduled to do so at Iran's Kharg Island and Bandar Mahshahr terminals.

As such, Iran's oil exports surged to between 2.1 million and 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in April and May, up from just 1.3 million bpd in the same period a year ago.

"Iran has ramped up harder and faster than expected," Reuters quoted Citi analysts as saying.

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