Major trader Vitol dealing in Iranian oil

One of the world's largest oil trading companies may be dealing in Iranian oil, circumventing international sanctions on the country's oil industry, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.

Sources in the Middle East and Asia told Reuters that Geneva, Switzerland-based Vitol purchased 2 million barrels of fuel oil from Iran in August through a subsidiary in Bahrain.

The purchase was reportedly disguised by transferring it through three different oil tankers off the coast of Malaysia, as well as by mixing the fuel with other oil in order to change certain identifying characteristic.

"Vitol is offering the cargo as a special blend to teapot refiners in Shandong," one trader from China told the news source. "No one's agreed to buy the Vitol cargo. I declined because I wasn't sure of the quality and specifications."

Vitol released a statement insisting it has not purchased any Iranian oil since a deal in early July, and that it is in full compliance with "all applicable international laws."

The Telegraph reports that the announcement has already created a stir in the British Parliament, thanks in large part to the relationship between Vitol CEO Ian Taylor and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

An analysis of Vitol is available at PennEnergy's Research area.

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