Singapore Oil Trader Kuo to Ship Fuel Oil Cargo From Iran

Kuo Oil Ltd., the Singapore trader that the U.S. censured last month for trading with Iran, has booked a fuel-oil shipment from the Persian Gulf nation for loading in March, shipping data show.

Closely held Kuo Oil hired the Mire to load 80,000 tons from Bandar Mahshahr on March 12 for delivery to Singapore, according to four shipbrokers, including a unit of Clarkson Plc (CKN), the world’s largest. The Liberian-flagged vessel is anchored in the northern Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz, according to transmissions captured by AISLive on Bloomberg.

Fuel oil is a residual product of refining often used for power generation and as shipping fuel. The fixture is provisional and subject to change or cancellation. A Kuo Oil official declined to comment when contacted by telephone.

Iran is seeking to boost oil sales in Asia before a European Union embargo scheduled to start July 1. The country is the second-largest crude producer after Saudi Arabia in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and pumped an average 3.55 million barrels a day in January, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers and analysts.

Kuo Oil was sanctioned Jan. 12 for providing “over $25 million in refined petroleum to Iran between late 2010 and early 2011,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

Foreign Ministry

While Singapore’s foreign ministry declined to comment on the sanctions against Kuo, it said it “was not in a position to enforce the laws of other countries,” according to a Jan. 13 statement. “We expect that given the importance of the U.S. in the world economy, companies with dealings with countries subject to unilateral U.S. sanctions will take notice of this case and make their own calculations in the light of their own commercial interests.”

Iran exported 59 percent of its crude to China, Japan, India and South Korea in the first half of 2011, based on the latest available data from the U.S. Energy Department.

The following table shows tankers scheduled to load crude and oil products from Iran reported so far this month, according to shipbroker reports and data compiled by Bloomberg. Volumes are in thousand tons. Some bookings are provisional:

Crude/Condensate
Vessel            Volume   Loading    Discharge
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mykonos Warrior     130    March 9    Mundra
Olympic Faith       130    March 8    Vizag
Fortune Elephant    265    March 3    Onsan
Ruby IV             260    March 3    Taiwan
Green Warrior        80    Feb. 26    New Mangalore
Takamine            265    Feb. 24    China
Xin Tong Yang       265    Feb. 22    China
Maharaja Agrasen    130    Feb. 18    Mumbai
Ocean Odyssey        80    February   East (Condensate)

Oil Products
Vessel            Volume   Loading    Discharge   Cargo
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mire                 80    March 12   Singapore   Fuel oil
Challenge Prospect   35    March 10   Dalian      Naphtha
Brizo                80    February   China       Fuel oil

To contact the reporter on this story: Yee Kai Pin in Singapore at kyee13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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