Italy’s Iplom to Load Iranian Crude Four Months Before Ban

Italian refiner Iplom SpA booked a tanker to load Iranian oil this week, four months before a European Union embargo on the Persian Gulf nation, data from three shipbrokers including Poten & Partners Inc. showed.

The private company chartered the Album to carry 80,000 metric tons to Italy from Kharg Island, according to the shipping reports. The Panama-flagged vessel is now under way in the Persian Gulf, transmissions captured by AISLive on Bloomberg show. It is insured by the Luxembourg-based West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association, a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, located in London.

Iran, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, faces an EU embargo on the purchase, transportation, financing and insurance of its crude as of July 1 because of the country’s nuclear program. The ban affects 95 percent of the world’s tankers because they are insured by the International Group’s 13 members, according to Andrew Bardot, the organization’s executive officer.

Carrying Iranian oil invalidates ships’ coverage against risks including spills and collisions, Bardot said Jan. 26. Jerry Westmore, a director of West of England in London, declined to comment.

Delivery Site

Iplom takes delivery of oil at the port of Genoa-Multedo, according to the company’s website. The refiner didn’t respond to a telephone call and e-mail to its office in Genoa outside business hours.

Italy imported the biggest volume of Iranian crude outside Asia in the first half of 2011, taking 7 percent of its exports, the latest available figures from the U.S. Energy Department show. The government in Tehran said Feb. 19 it halted shipments to customers in France and the U.K., preempting the ban. China, Japan, India and South Korea were the largest buyers, purchasing a combined 59 percent.

The following table shows tankers scheduled to load crude and refined products from Iran since February, according to shipbroker reports and data compiled by Bloomberg. Volumes are in thousands of tons. Some bookings are provisional and subject to changes or cancellation.

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
Album                 80   March 1-3  Italy
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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