The U.S. is trying to halt Iranian oil exports to force the country to negotiate a new nuclear agreement. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA
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China shifts to Iranian tankers for oil as U.S. sanctions hitChinese buyers of Iranian oil are starting to shift their cargoes to vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker Co. for nearly all of their imports to keep supply flowing amid the reimposition of economic sanctions by the United States. The shift demonstrates China, Iran's biggest oil customer, wants to keep buying Iranian crude despite the sanctions, which were put back after the United States withdrew in May from a 2015 agreement to halt Iran's nuclear program.In July, all 17 tankers chartered to carry oil from Iran to China are operated by NITC, according to shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon.Last month, those tankers loaded about 23.8 million barrels of crude oil and condensate destined for China, or about 767,000 barrels per day. It typically takes about a month for Iranian crude to reach China.
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