Iran has earned $1.35 billion for selling more than 3 million tonnes of fuel oil in the 10 months to January 21, up 30% in revenue from the same period of last year, oil ministry news website Shana cited an official as saying.

The Opec member also earned $963 million in gasoil revenue during the same period, a 30% increase from last year, and sold 107,000 tonnes of heating oil, Shana cited Mohammadreza Mazloumi, manager of the commercial division at National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) as saying.

Iran has a target to sell 4 million tonnes of fuel oil and gasoil during the current Iranian year to March 20, 2015, he added. The Iranian year started on March 21, 2014.

US and EU sanctions that came into force in 2012 prohibit the import, purchase and transport of Iranian petroleum products to put pressure on Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear programme. Washington has also pressed its allies around the world to clamp down on the shipping of Iranian oil products.

But Iran is sidestepping the sanctions and managing to sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fuel oil and gasoil every month through companies based in the US-allied United Arab Emirates, trading sources have told Reuters.

Tehran has used innovative methods to circumvent the restrictions, several Middle East-based trading sources say.

They include tankers switching off their tracking systems, ship-to-ship transfers, discharging and loading at remote ports, blending Iranian products with fuels from another source to alter the shipment’s physical specification and selling them with Iraqi-origin documents, the sources have said.

The Iranian fuel oil is mainly offered from the UAE port and bunkering hub of Fujairah, through trading firms acting as middlemen for buyers who may not know the cargo is from Iran.

Source: Trade Arabia