More Indian-flagged oil tankers take Navy’s help to sail through Strait of Hormuz

P Manoj MUMBAI | Updated on June 24, 2019 Published on June 24, 2019

A representational image   -  The Hindu

The Hormuz Strait lies between Oman and Iran through which a big chunk of world’s oil imports are shipped.

More Indian-flagged crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tankers are taking the Indian Navy escort service on their journey through the Strait of Hormuz carrying oil and gas for Indian buyers after the government last week allowed fleet owners to deploy Navy guards to ensure that oil supplies are not disrupted amidst rising tensions between Iran and the United States.

M T Sri Vishnu, a Suezmax crude carrier owned by Global United Shipping Company (India) Pvt Ltd, took the help of the Indian Navy personnel while it transited the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, carrying crude oil for state-run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) to be discharged at Sikka port in Gujarat.

Read also: US-Iran tension - Indian Navy personnel escort SCI tanker via Strait of Hormuz

Sabarimala Gas, a medium sized LPG tanker, also owned by Global United Shipping, was escorted by Navy guards on board while on her way to Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia for loading propane and butane for state-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC).

Global United is backed by Japanese trading group Mitsui & Co.

“Sri Vishnu and Sabarimala Gas transited the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday with Navy guards on board,” an executive with Global United Shipping told Business Line.

Global United has also requisitioned the presence of Navy guards on board BW Boss, a very large gas carrier, which is on her way to Qatar to load coking gas for IOC.

BW Boss is owned by BW Global United LPG India Pvt Ltd, an equal joint venture between Global United Shipping and Singapore’s BW LPG Ltd.

“It is a very good initiative by the Indian government,” Rajesh Unni, founder and chief executive officer of Global United Shipping told BusinessLine.” The country has come forward to protect Indian flagged ships; it is a gesture in the right direction that gives comfort to Indian seafarers on board and shows that their contributions are respected,” Unni said.

The Hormuz Strait lies between Oman and Iran, though which a big chunk of India’s and the rest of the world’s oil imports are shipped.

Sabotage attacks

A few days ago, explosions damaged two oil tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz, which happened a month after four vessels were targeted in “sabotage attacks” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, widely seen as a fall-out of the US sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

Crude imports

India provisionally imported 207.3 million tonne of crude oil in 2018-19.

India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports.

Iraq, India’s top supplier, sold 46.61 million tonne of crude oil to India during April 2018 and March 2019, according to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics.

Read more: Oil turmoil

In 2018-19, Saudi Arabia – India’s second biggest supplier- exported 40.33 million tonne of crude oil to India.

While India stopped importing crude oil from Iran after the US ended the six-month waiver granted to India in May, the Persian Gulf nation was the third largest crude oil supplier to India with exports touching 23.9 million tonne of crude in 2018-19.

UAE was India's fourth-largest crude supplier in 2018-19 with sales of 17.49 million tonne while Kuwait supplied 10.78 million tonne of crude oil.

Published on June 24, 2019
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