Iranian tanker said to load Syrian oil

April 10, 2012 at 6:17 AM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, April 10 (UPI) -- An Iranian oil tanker appears headed toward a Syrian port in what appears to be a violation of sanctions imposed by the European Union, shipping data indicate.

EU sanctions on Syria ban imports of Syrian oil and investments in upstream oil and natural gas.

Iranian oil tanker Amin, owned by sanctioned company Irano Hind, is headed for the Syrian port of Tartous after loading crude from the nearby port of Baniyas last weekend, the Platts news service reports, citing shipping data.

The Amin can carry up to 1 million barrels of crude oil. It's expected to head to the Persian Gulf where the oil could be sold by Sytrol, a Syrian oil trading company, the news service adds.

Iranian tanker Tour reportedly loaded 1 million barrels of Syrian crude oil in March. It's flying a Bolivian flag after Malta delisted the vessel for carrying Syrian oil.

Gulfsands Petroleum, one of the last foreign oil companies working in Syria, announced in December that it was ending exploration activity in the country. The company's board said the decision was a matter of "financial and operational prudence" considering the restrictions placed on obtaining technical services and supplies in Syria.

The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports that Syrian oil production and exports have declined steadily since the 1990s.

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