The U.S. sold about 2 million barrels of Iranian crude oil after it captured an oil tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to court documents and government statistics.
The Iranian crude oil was discovered in a new report published by the U.S. Energy Information Agency, which raised eyebrows among commodities traders. The EIA statistics included a little more than a million barrels of Iranian "crude oil imports" in March.
The oil came from the MT Achilleas, a ship that was captured by the U.S. in February off the coast of the port city of Fujairah. Court documents in the U.S. claim that the Achilleas was subject to forfeiture under to U.S. laws against terror because Iran's Revolutionary Guard tried to use it to sell crude oil to China. The U.S. has designated the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
The U.S. government brought the Achilleas to Houston, Texas, where it sold the just over two million barrels of crude oil in it for $110 million, or about $55 a barrel, according to court documents. The money will be held in escrow amid a court case over it.