Chinese Company Found To Be Central Player Behind Shipping Oil To Sanctioned Iran

( )- An exclusive investigative report from Reuters has revealed that a Chinese logistics firm has emerged as a primary player in the supply of sanctioned oil from both Iran and Venezuela – even after Washington blacklisted it two years ago for refining Iranian crude oil.

China Concord Petroleum Company’s (CCPC) expansion into trading with Venezuela had not been previously reported, and, according to analysts, highlight the limitations of Washington’s system of restrictions.

According to the Reuters report, CCPC, a Hong Kong-registered firm, has quickly become an important partner with Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA oil company – chartering ships to carry 20 percent of Venezuela’s total oil exports in April and May. In total, CCPC carried nearly $445 million worth of crude.

After the US imposed sanctions, many refineries worldwide, including state-run refineries in China, stopped purchasing crude oil from Iran and Venezuela which cut millions of barrels per day from exports and billions from their income.

Both Iran and Venezuela have since been engaged in what Reuters calls “an elaborate game of cat and mouse with Washington” in order to keep exporting crude oil. Among the numerous efforts they’ve deployed to avoid detection are ship-to-ship transfers, shell companies and middlemen who work outside US financial scrutiny.

CCPC has acquired at least fourteen tankers in the past year to transport oil from Iran or Venezuela to China. These fourteen tankers have the capacity of about 28 million barrels of oil.

China is now importing approximately 557,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Iran and around 324,000 barrels a day from Venezuela.

In response to Reuters’ report, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said that the CCP maintains “moral, legitimate trades with Iran and Venezuela” in accordance with international law “that shall deserve respect and protection.” The spokesman added that China “strongly opposes unilateral sanctions” and called on the US to remove its “long-arm jurisdiction on companies and individuals.”

The Biden Administration declined to offer comment to Reuters on its story.