Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Oil | Shipping

US sanctions six Chinese companies, executives for oil trade with Iran

Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products

Will Citgo’s US refineries be seized by creditors?

Oil

Platts Market Data – Oil

Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products | Equities | Financial Services | Private Markets

North American Crude Oil Exports Summit, 2nd Annual

Natural Gas

DTE Midstream to buy gathering assets in Haynesville Shale for $2.25 billion

US sanctions six Chinese companies, executives for oil trade with Iran

Highlights

US sanctions six Chinese companies, five chief executives

Trump says Iran sanctions to be strengthened

US pushes world leaders to pressure Tehran

Washington — The US sanctioned six Chinese entities and their top executives Wednesday for trading oil with Iran, as officials of the Trump administration continue to push world leaders to increase pressure on Tehran.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

In a speech at a United Against Nuclear Iran event, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said these companies "knowingly transported oil from Iran contrary to United States sanctions. We're telling China and all nations: know that we will sanction every violation of sanctionable activity."

The US Treasury Department announced Wednesday that two affiliates of Cosco Shipping Co., China Concord Petroleum Co., Kunlun Holding Co., Kunlun Shipping Co. and Pegasus 88 and five executives had been added to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's specially designated nationals and blocked persons list.

In a statement, Treasury said the sanctions on the two Cosco affiliates, Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. and Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co., would not apply to their parent company, Cosco Shipping Co., nor affiliates of Cosco Shipping Holdings.

"US persons, therefore, are not prohibited from dealing with COSCO, its non-blocked subsidiaries, or non-blocked affiliates to the extent the proposed dealings do not involve any blocked person, or any other activities prohibited pursuant to any OFAC sanctions authorities," Treasury said. "Similarly, non-US persons do not face sanctions risk for engaging in transactions with COSCO, its non-blocked subsidiaries, or non-blocked affiliates."

Shipping market participants Wednesday said they were still unsure of the full ramifications of the sanctions announcement, with one major charterer saying they were "trying to digest" the news.

Cosco has 25 VLCCs and a number of Suezmax, Aframax and Panamax tankers, according to the company's website, but there may be more tankers than that, sources said. Since the sanctions only apply to two of the company's affiliates, it remains unclear what impact the sanctions may have.

"It's an interesting outcome, but too early to see the implications," a VLCC owner said.

Since ending sanctions waivers that allowed Iran's top customers to continue purchases of Iranian crude, the US had previously sanctioned only one Chinese company for violating US restrictions on Iran's oil sector: state-owned trading company Zhuhai Zhenrong and executive Youmin Li.

Iranian oil exports, which averaged more than 1.7 million b/d in March, fell below 424,500 b/d in August, according to data from cFlow, Platts trade flow software. Just over 204,200 b/d of Iranian exports in August went to China, according to Platts cFlow.

Analysts have said the Trump administration remains unlikely to sanction a major Chinese entity, even as imports of Iranian crude continue, due to the impact on the global economy if the trade dispute between the two nations drags on.

RELIEF UNLIKELY

There was speculation that this week's UN General Assembly meeting could trigger some easing of US sanctions on Iran, potentially following a meeting between the US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. But odds of this went from slim to none after the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities, which caused a sudden loss of 5.7 million b/d in supply.

The US immediately blamed Iran for the attack, and, in his speech before the UN Tuesday, Trump signaled his administration's hard line against Iran would only strengthen.

"As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted, they will be tightened," Trump said.

On Monday, the leaders of Britain, France and Germany joined the US in blaming Iran for the attack as the US pressured other nations to bolster their own sanctions on Iran.

But the possibility of other nations pushing further sanctions on Iran was unlikely, Joe McMonigle, an analyst with Hedgeye Risk Management, said.

"It's unclear where this is going but I think the Administration clearly thinks there is an opening here to reduce whatever EU lifelines exist or in planning stages for Iran," McMonigle said. "Again, I am skeptical about the chances of success here."

-- Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com

-- Arthur Richier, arthur.richier@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Manish Parashar, newsdesk@spglobal.com

Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum | December 11, 2019 | New York

Join us to discuss the energy transition the increasing demand for energy, and investing in the future while navigating a diverse energy landscape.

Purchase seats