SUMED: Arab Petroleum Pipeline Company

Energy
Egypt
SUMED

"The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has received substantial imports of Iraqi crude oil from an Egyptian port in the last nine months, shipping and payments documents show, part of an under-the-radar trade that has kept his military running despite Western sanctions…Dozens of shipping and payment documents viewed by Reuters show that millions of barrels of crude delivered to Assad's government on Iranian ships has actually come from Iraq, through Lebanese and Egyptian trading companies. The trade, which is denied by the firms involved, has proven lucrative, with companies demanding a steep premium over the normal cost of oil in return for bearing the risk of shipping it to Syria. It also highlights a previously undisclosed role of Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon in Assad's supply chain, despite those countries' own restrictions on assisting his government. Both the Syrian national oil company that received the oil, Sytrol, and the Iranian shipping operator that delivered it, the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC), are on U.S. and EU sanctions lists barring them from doing business with U.S. or European firms, cutting them off from the U.S. and EU financial systems and freezing their assets…At least four firms from third countries that were added to the U.S. Treasury's sanctions list for Iran when it was last updated on Dec. 12 were punished specifically ‘for providing material support to NITC,’ the Treasury said. ’We have been very focused on targeting Iranian attempts to aid the Assad regime through economic as well as military means,’ said a Treasury Department spokesman…The documents refer to at least four shipments by four tankers named Camellia, Daisy, Lantana and Clove, each of which is operated by Iran's NITC and, say the documents, carried Iraqi oil from Egypt's Mediterranean port of Sidi Kerir to Syria…A representative of the Arab Petroleum Pipeline Company, which is known as SUMED and owns and operates Egypt's Mediterranean port of Sidi Kerir where the oil tankers loaded, had no comment. SUMED is half owned by the Egyptian state oil company EGPC and half by a group of four other Arab countries…After leaving Iraq, the crude oil was delivered to Sidi Kerir on the 200 mile (320 km) SUMED pipeline, which runs from the Red Sea to the port west of Alexandria, where it was loaded onto Iranian ships.” (Reuters, “RPT-EXCLUSIVE-Assad's secret oil lifeline: Iraqi crude from Egypt,” 12/24/13)