NITC Mulls Investment in LNG Tanker Fleet

National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) is considering venturing into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market as Iran gears up for production of natural gas in the future.

The plans were revealed by Mohammad Reza Shams Dolatabadi, NITC’s head of international affairs, Reuters reported, who said that NITC was looking into the acquisition of LNG tankers in the upcoming three to five years.

The diversification plans and fleet build-up come as NITC marks a substantial return to the European shipping market following the lifting of sanctions against Iran in January 2016.

“Our ships are calling at many European ports, and the number of these shipments is increasing day by day,” he told Reuters.

According to Dolatabadi, the company is eager to renew its fleet and is working on a five-year plan that will include purchasing of new tonnage and dismantling of outdated vessels, but without a major change to the fleet’s capacity.

Earlier this month, NITC’s parent company, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), signed a USD 5 billion deal with Total, marking the return of European oil majors to the country.

“By signing this contract, a lot of doubts with some foreign companies to invest and work in Iran will be resolved, and in fact, this will be the beginning of a return for those who want to invest in Iran, not only in Oil industry, but also in other fields not related to oil,” Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said.

As disclosed by NIOC, Iran currently produces 290,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the figure which is going to witness an increase of 78,000 barrels bpd.

World Maritime News Staff

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