American oil boom seen tempting ships to steer clear of Iran

The latest standoff between the U.S. and Iran may be leaving oil-tanker owners in more of a bind than in previous years.

Photo: PR-foto: Teekay Tankers & Wärtsilä

As the U.S. reimposes sanctions on the Islamic Republic, firms that help ferry Iranian oil risk losing access to the American financial system, similar to earlier in the decade when such measures were enforced. Additionally, this time around, they’ll have to contend with being cut off from the booming business of transporting crude pumped from shale fields in Texas or wells in the Gulf of Mexico, according to shipbroker Braemar ACM.

The U.S. is shipping record amounts of crude following the end of an export ban in late 2015, a few months after Iran and world powers reached a deal that eased sanctions on the Middle East nation in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. After President Donald Trump pulled out of that accord earlier this month, the jump in American shipments is making tanker owners consider whether to stick with or shy away from the Persian Gulf state.

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