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Still No Sanctions On Iran’s Oil Exporting

From the Wall Street Journal:

Oil Trade With Iran Thrives, Discreetly

By STEVE STECKLOW, SPENCER SWARTZ and MARGARET COKER

May 20, 2010

FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates—An oil tanker named Front Page, chartered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, left this port on March 17 and reported it was going to another U.A.E. port, then on to Saudi Arabia, ship-tracking data show.

But the tracking information reveals that Front Page also made an unreported stop—to the coast of Iran. There it loaded Iranian oil, according to records obtained by oil traders and shipping sources.

The incident, some oil-industry experts say, is an example of how some companies these days are hiding their business dealings with Iran, even when they are perfectly legal because they aren’t subject to any sanctions

None of the current sanctions proposals in the United Nations or the U.S.—including the latest ones agreed to this week by the U.S., Russia and China—would target Iran’s oil-export business, which generates about half of its government revenues. Doing so, experts say, likely would drive up the commodity’s price world-wide and result in higher gasoline prices in the U.S., of as much as $1 more a gallon, even though the U.S. doesn’t import any Iranian oil.

In other words, the so-called sanctions that have already been imposed on Iran don’t touch their main source of revenue at all — its oil exporting business. And no one is even proposing a sanction on that – because it could hurt us, as well. How wonderful.

U.S. officials also fear that targeting Iranian crude could wreak havoc on the recession-ravaged economies of allies like Japan, which last year imported about 421,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day, just behind China and India.

As a result, companies like Shell and BP PLC continue to do a brisk business buying Iranian oil products. BP declined to comment.

Obviously, the Obama administration is very selective about how it applies its boot to BP’s neck. 

"Everyone buys from the Iranians—governments, states, other companies," says Mark Ware, a spokesman for Vitol Group, an energy-trading company that continues to deal in Iranian crude and is one of the few companies willing to talk about it. "It’s not subject to any legislation."

Still, given all the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program, many companies decline to discuss their Iranian oil purchases.

Companies like Shell and BP have said they have stopped selling gasoline to Iran. But they rarely mention that they continue to buy crude or other Iranian oil products, which generally is a much larger and more lucrative business than gasoline deliveries.

Iran only imports about 100,000 barrels of gasoline a day. The country currently exports about 2 million barrels of oil a day—down from about 2.6 million in 2008.

"It’s something they [companies] just don’t want to advertise because of the stigma," says Lucian Pugliaresi, president of Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc., an industry and government-funded research organization in Washington.

One tanker industry executive speculated that Shell might want to disguise its Iranian purchases so as not to suggest that the gasoline it sells in the U.S. is refined from Iranian oil, which would violate U.S. law.

Shell is one of the biggest oil-product sellers in the U.S. According to its 2009 annual report, Shell sold 1.33 million barrels a day of gasoline, diesel and other fuel products there. There is no evidence that any of Shell’s U.S. products are sourced from Iran.

And probably no evidence that they are not. Isn’t global interdependence wonderful? We are paying for Iran’s nuclear bomb.

Lenin was right when he said, “Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Except, to be fair, capitalists would find other sources for oil — such as offshore — if it weren’t the ‘environmentalists.’

But isn’t a nuclear armed Iran more of a threat to Mother Earth than an oil spill or two?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, May 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Still No Sanctions On Iran’s Oil Exporting”

  1. heykev says:

    If the we wanted to impose sanctions with some teeth, it would impose an embargo on gasoline since they import almost 100% of their gas. Since most of their population in Iran is under 30, they will want to continue driving, having products (like food) come to their neighborhood Camel & Terrorist Supply Store. They would not stand for this imposition.

    Only then will the Ayatollah’s will take time away from plotting Israel’s destruction once they have the bomb, stopping women from having a tan and molesting little girls to save their sorry behinds.

    • Right of the People says:

      But that might make them mad at us and Barry the All Knowing can’t have that. He would probably have to consult his Imam first (praise Allah) before he acts.

    • heykev says:

      But I thought he threw the Rev. Wright under the bus and was not talking to him any longer. Humm.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “Words that really mean something”

    The boy king….repeated often and loudly in the past 16 months or so.

    Yup, you’re doing a helluva job there, barry boy.

  3. canary says:

    This is China’s 2nd request. China & North Korea are teaming up, while Obama is busy letting Mexican’s pres tell off America, and pacifying muslims.
    What better time.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/2239314,north-korea-china-kim-visit-050510.article


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