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BP’s tankers avoid Hormuz as Stena Bulk voices concern for crew detained in Iran

BP, the seventh largest oil company in the world, has not taken any of its own tankers through the Strait of Hormuz since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels.

To move its oil through the troubled region, BP has been shifting all its crude and products on chartered-in tonnage, the company’s chief financial officer revealed today.

British-linked vessels have been targeted by Iranian special forces this month in retaliation for a detachment of the UK’s Royal Marines arresting an Iranian VLCC, Grace 1, earlier in July over a cargo of oil bound for sanctions-hit Syria.

Ten days ago, Iran seized the UK-flagged Stena Impero. The ship’s owner in an update yesterday voiced concern for the 23 crew being held on its ship, moored at the port of Bandar Abbas.

“We are concerned about the potential impact a prolonged period of uncertainty will have on the welfare of both crew and their families. Our colleagues on the Stena Impero were carrying out their profession as merchant seafarers and do not deserve to be in this position,” Stena Bulk stated in an update on its website.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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