The cargo is Iran’s first crude oil delivery to Indonesia since Western sanctions were lifted more than a year ago, and adds the Southeast Asian port to a growing list of destinations at a time of escalating geopolitical tensions with the US, MANA correspondent reported.
The Iranian oil shipment also comes on the heels of intense negotiations between Tehran and Jakarta, regarding upstream oil investments by Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina in Iran and downstream refinery investments by state-owned National Iranian Oil Co in Indonesia, which can facilitate mutual oil trade.
In September last year, Lloyd’s List reported NIOC was in talks to acquire stakes in oil refineries in India, Indonesia and Europe in a strategic move to secure a market for its crude exports.
The Panama-flagged Dune loaded and sailed from Iran’s Kharg Island oil terminal on February 5, and is scheduled to arrive at the Cilacap oil terminal in Indonesia on February 19, Lloyd’s List Intelligence data showed. Cilacap is the location of Indonesia’s largest oil refinery.
Indonesia has never really been a major market for Iranian crude exports, and mutual trade has been largely for agricultural products and petroleum products such as bitumen.
Trade data showed that even before Western sanctions were imposed in 2011, most Iranian crude shipments to Asia went to China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, preliminary Lloyd’s List Intelligence data showed Iranian oil exports dropped marginally to 2.09m barrels per day in January from 2.51m bpd in December.