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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Iranian supertanker to discharge crude at Shell Singapore refinery -trade
SINGAPORE Mar 2 (Reuters) - An Iranian supertanker anchored near Singapore for the past week has moored at Royal Dutch Shell's refinery to discharge about 1.5 million barrels of crude, according to Reuters data and three trading sources on Friday.
The National Iranian Tanker Co. (NITC) vessel Delvar arrived on Thursday evening at Bukom island, where Shell's 500,000 barrel-per-day refinery is located, Reuters Freight Fundamentals Database showed.
"Yes, Shell bought it. There is no other reason for it to be anchored at Bukom," said a Singapore-based ship broker.
In an e-mail reply to a Reuters query, Shell said, "We do not comment on our trading activities. Shell complies with all applicable sanctions."
The 270,000-tonne Delvar arrived on Feb. 23 off Indonesia's Karimun Island, which is a key offshore storage point near Asia's biggest oil trading hub Singapore and is often used for ship-to-ship transfers (STS), but NITC vessels have not been known to call there.
The vessel then moved into Singapore waters on Feb. 26 after discharging a cargo of condensate into a smaller, China-bound tanker.
The smaller 60,000-tonne vessel, Xuan Wu Hu, was bound for an oil complex in Huizhou, where China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and oil major Royal Dutch Shell jointly operate a petrochemical complex.
Iran, the world's fifth largest oil producer, has been struggling to sell its crude in the face of tightening U.S. sanctions and an EU embargo that begins on July 1.
Anglo-Dutch major Shell is one of the biggest consumers of Iranian crude worldwide, industry sources said, taking around 100,000 bpd into Europe and about the same quantity into Japan under a deal with Japanese company Showa Shell that expires in March.
Speaking on Feb. 2, when the company reported earnings, Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser declined to elaborate on how much Iranian crude the company was still buying.
"Shell will comply with the sanctions and we will therefore get our crude from somewhere else," Voser said.
Singapore imported around 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude over the past year, according to industry estimates. Official data on Iranian imports to Singapore is not available.
Shell's Bukom refinery, the oil major's largest, makes up the biggest share of this volume, industry sources said.
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