Iran beefs up oil tanker fleet on growing business from China

Updated 10 August 2013

Iran beefs up oil tanker fleet on growing business from China

PARIS: Iran has beefed up its oil tanker fleet with vessels from China and is selling more crude to Beijing as Tehran struggles under international sanctions, the IEA said in a report.
Iran’s once lucrative oil sector has been crippled by sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive. Despite Iranian denials, the West is convinced Tehran is pursuing a nuclear bomb.
In its monthly oil market report, the International Energy Agency said Iranian crude oil production in July fell back to 2.6 million barrels per day (mbd) — 50,000 million barrels less per day from June.
In contrast, however, the IEA said that preliminary data show that Iranian crude oil exports climbed to 1.16 mbd from just 960,000 barrels per day in June, mainly owing to a rebound in Chinese imports which last month rose to 660,000 barrels of oil per day from 385,000 the month before.
“Just five countries reported importing crude from Iran in July — China, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates,” the IEA said, noting the number of countries totaled as many as 16 in January 2012.
Despite this, the IEA said “Iran continues to expand its shipping fleet in a bid to sustain crude sales in the wake of increasingly stringent international sanctions.”
Since May, it has added four more supertankers, known as VLCCs, to its fleet, which now totals 37 VLCCs and 14 smaller crude tankers.
Most of the additions come from China as part of a 2009 deal to buy 12 VLCCs for $1.2 billion (898 million euros).
“The expanding shipping fleet should provide the state oil company more flexibility in marketing its crude and for use in floating storage,” the IEA said.
In his first news conference since taking office, Iran’s new President Hassan Rowhani earlier this month said he is determined to find a solution to the nuclear program issue.
The IEA said that although analysts are still skeptical, “markets warmed to the tone.”


Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Updated 12 min 3 sec ago

Etihad launches more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner

  • Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry
  • This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater
DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier Etihad Airways announced on Monday it is launching one of the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul airplanes as the company seeks to save costs on fuel and position itself as a more environmentally-conscious choice for travelers.
Etihad’s “Greenliner” is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will depart on its first route from Abu Dhabi to Brussels in January 2020. Etihad’s CEO Tony Douglas described the aircraft as a flying laboratory for testing that could benefit the entire industry.
With fuel costs eating up around a quarter of airline spending, Douglas said the goal of the Greenliner is to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than other aircraft in Etihad’s fleet.
“This is not just a box-ticking exercise,” he told reporters at the unveiling of the initiative at the Dubai Airshow alongside executives from Boeing.
Douglas said the aircraft “not only makes sense economically from a profit and loss account point of view, but because it also directly impacts the CO2 because of the fuel burn.”
Etihad has reported losses of $4.75 billion since 2016 as its strategy of aggressively buying stakes in airlines from Europe to Australia exposed the company to major risks.
Despite its financials, the airline continues to be among the most innovative.
This year, Etihad flew the world’s first passenger flight using sustainable biofuel made from a plant that grows in saltwater. It also became the first in the Middle East to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board to raise awareness of the effects of plastic pollution.
Aviation accounts for a small but rapidly growing share of greenhouse-gas emissions — about 2.5 percent worldwide. But forecasters expect air travel to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Etihad says it plans to make the Greenliner a “social media star” to bring under sharper focus its developments and achievements worldwide. Douglas said anything that Eithad learns with Boeing from this aircraft’s operations will be open domain knowledge “because it’s about moving the industry forward in a responsible fashion.”
“We’re like a millennial and like all good millennials, they’re really focused on the environment and the sustainability agenda,” Douglas said, referring to Etihad’s 16 years in operation.
The Greenliner will be the only aircraft of its kind in Etihad’s fleet of Dreamliners. The company currently has 36 of the 787s in its fleet with plans to operate 50.
“This is a small step today, but in a very, very long journey,” Douglas said.