Crude oil tanker carrying millions of barrels seized off Gibraltar coast

The Government of Gibraltar has confirmed that the Iranian supertanker allegedly on its way to Syria was fully laden with 2 million barrels of crude oil, Reuters reported on Monday.

“The results of these assessments conclusively prove and ensure the information disseminated last week by the Gibraltar Authorities and contradict the statements of some commentators from outdoors the jurisdiction who had speculated that the cargo on the vessel was not crude,” the government spokesman mentioned.

The Panamanian-flagged Grace 1, which was seized last Thursday by the British Royal Marines, was assumed to be carrying crude oil, however some raised doubts. Iran denies that the tanker was on its strategy to Syria, in defiance of EU sanctions against Syria, and has likened the quite dramatic seizure—reportedly done on the behest of the United States—to “an act of piracy”.

Iran alleged on Monday that it’s under no obligation to adhere to EU sanctions. “Iran is neither a member of the EU nor subject to any European oil embargo. Last I checked, EU was against extraterritoriality. UK’s illegal seizure of a tanker with Iranian oil on behalf of #B Team is piracy, pure and easy,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday. The #B Staff referred disparagingly to President Trump’s administration.

Regardless of some setbacks, Iran remains hopeful that its oil exports will improve, although its oil exports have fallen to under 300,000 bpd–decrease than Iran may have anticipated since the sanctions went into effect.

This battle in the Gulf has stoked fears that oil prices could skyrocket should the conflict escalate additional, even to as high as $325 per barrel ought to tanker visitors in the Strait of Hormuz be disrupted, in accordance with a 2018 study by the Riyadh-based King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.