Financial Times links Malaysia to sanctions-breaking sale of Iran oil

August 2, 2014

So, which of our oil terminals are involved?

Dateline 2014-06-06, Malay Mail Online:

Malaysia is among countries used to resell Iranian oil in the Middle Eastern nation’s scheme to circumvent trade sanctions starving it of basic goods, the Financial Times (FT) reported,

The secret scheme is part of the massive corruption that allegedly took place under former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which the government gave oil allocations to accomplices at large discounts, according to the FT.

These accomplices enjoyed generous commissions as long as they were able to bring back basic commodities or cash into the Middle Eastern country.

As the recruits were unknown politicians or businessmen, they could get information from back channels to sell crude oil to previous importers of Iran’s oil, or new customers, by using new transport routes.

According to the FT, the crude could be sent to Asian countries like Malaysia first, where it would either be put in storage or reloaded onto other tankers before the sale, where it would be labelled as another country’s oil.

Malaysian ISO’s Iranian oil brokerage confirmed

June 15, 2014

Dateline 2014-04-23, Trend:

The Supreme Audit Court of Iran confirmed that a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) sold several crude oil and condensate freights worth about $1 billion to International Safe Oil Company in the second half of 2012.

The exact value of sold cargoes is $1,004, 609, 117.

According a report released by the Supreme Audit Court of Iran says that the Malaysian International Safe Oil Company (ISO) should have paid off its debt by the end of 2012, but hadn’t.

The U.S. and EU adopted tough sanctions targeting Iran’s oil revenues in mid-2012 to persuade Iran to curb its sensitive nuclear activities. After sanctions, Iran’s oil exports dropped significantly and went from 2.5 million barrels to 1.07 million barrels per day in 2013.

Iran reportedly has been using various ways to bypass the imposed sanctions on both its oil exports and transferring the payments.

Iranian oil tycoon used Labuan to skirt sanctions on Iran, says New York Times report

December 1, 2013

Dateline 2013-10-06, Malaysian Insider:

An Iranian tycoon has used the tax-free port of Labuan for his oil business to skirt Western sanctions imposed on his country, the New York Times reported.

Babak Zanjani, 39, devised a scheme to disguise the origins of Iranian oil and sold it on the open market by transferring millions of barrels from tanker to tanker, often using Labuan as the drop-off point, as alleged by the European Union.

The New York Times quoted Zanjani in interviews with Iranian reformist weekly Aseman and the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency as saying that he used a vast network of 64 companies in Dubai, Turkey and Malaysia to sell millions of barrels of oil, earning US$17.5 billion (RM55.6 billion) in foreign exchange for Iran’s oil ministry, the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian central bank.


Iran VLCC unloads fuel oil into FSU off Malaysia as Tehran seeks alternative storages

October 10, 2012

Dateline 2012-09-19:

An Iranian tanker has discharged 270,000 mt of fuel oil into a floating storage unit at Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas port this week, barely two weeks after another Iranian ship unloaded crude into an FSU near Labuan Island, off East Malaysia’s Sabah state, industry sources said Wednesday.

With international sanctions imposed on Tehran limiting its usual export outlets, the Islamic Republic is seeking to park its oil elsewhere so as to evade the shipping insurance ban imposed on international commercial vessels calling at Iranian ports to load oil.

By moving its oil to storages outside Iran, the country is also trying to free up its tankers so that these vessels could be used for delivering cargoes to its customers as well as store the crude it produces.

A shipping source with knowledge of the matter said, the Pioneer, a 2007-built VLCC owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company and previously known as Hadi, had discharged Monday nearly 270,000 mt of fuel oil into the Hercules, a VLCC converted into a floating storage unit, off Malaysia’s southern state of Johor.


Insight: Iran parks oil off Malaysia to dodge Western sanctions

September 25, 2012

Dateline 2012-09-13:

Iran is using a little-known port off the East Malaysia coast to hide millions of barrels of oil from Western sanctions, according to shipping data, industry sources and officials.

A Reuters examination of shipping movements and interviews shows how Iranian crude is shipped to the area and loaded on to empty vessels at night to await potential Asian buyers. Storing the oil on hired tankers operating under the Panamanian flag in the calm waters off the tax-haven port of Labuan – an offshore financial centre about the size of Manhattan – means Iran can keep its own fleet active and ensure the flow of oil money into its struggling economy.


Petronas stays in Iran despite US threat

October 16, 2010

Dateline 2010-10-05:

Malaysia’s oil and gas company, Petronas, says it currently has no plans to leave Iran’s energy market despite the US threat of punishing any firm that continues trade with the country.

Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas CEO of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said on Tuesday that the company has no intention of leaving Iran’s market at the present time.

“At this point in time, there are a couple of opportunities to which I don’t think it is the right time for us to leave Iran,” Malaysian National News Agency BERNAMA quoted him as saying on Tuesday in response to a question whether Petronas would leave Iran to avoid US sanctions.

PETRONAS – Gas for Iran, Not?

April 24, 2010

It appears that our politicians and newspaper reports should get their facts and stances correct:

  • April 16: AsiaOne reports ‘Malaysia suspends gasoline supplies to Iran’
  • April 16: UPI reports that ‘PETRONAS jumps Iranian Ships.’
  • April 17: A local rag reports that ‘KL warns Teheran after cutting off supply.’
  • April 18: Oh, was it a single spot sale that was stopped? Reported in the above local rag.

 Maybe the local Iranian students should surround the PETRONAS embassy, to scare them into reporting a fact, and just one fact.

Anyhow, al-Jazeerah reports the Chinese stepped into the breach and increased their supply of gasoline.