LONDON–Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller Maersk A/S (AMKBY) is in talks with Vitol SA over reports the trading house chartered one of the company’s vessels to ship Iranian fuel oil, the agency that manages the tanker on behalf of Maersk said Thursday.
According to a report from Reuters, the Maersk Producer tanker received a fuel oil cargo of Iranian origin on Sept. 8 while chartered to Vitol. The report said the cargo was transferred onto the tanker from Vitol’s floating storage off Malaysia.
“We are still investigating and in on-going discussions with Vitol,” said Per Juul, managing director of the agent that chartered the Maersk Producer to Vitol.
Last month, Vitol admitted that one of its subsidiaries bought a cargo of Iranian fuel oil in July, after a European Union arms embargo came into full effect.
The EU and U.S. have ratcheted up sanctions against Iran this year in a bid to pressure the government into halting its contested nuclear program, although Switzerland-based Vitol is outside the remit of the EU embargo.
The oil trader said Vitol Group companies are no longer purchasing any product of Iranian origin.
A Vitol spokesman said the company would “cooperate fully in any talks with Maersk.”
– Sarah Kent, (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company