The U.S. is likely to lift sanctions on Chinese tanker company COSCO within days, two energy industry sources have told Reuters.
Donald Trump's administration blacklisted the Dalian units of COSCO in September, after U.S. authorities accused the firm of transporting Iranian oil.
The sanctions pushed global freight costs to record highs and disrupted shipping markets.
China remains a major importer of Iranian crude, despite Trump's so-called 'maximum pressure' campaign on Tehran to cut oil revenue to zero.
It is not known whether the move signals that China or COSCO have agreed to stop taking Iranian oil.
COSCO said it was waiting for official communication from Washington about the sanctions lift.
The U.S. Treasury department declined to comment.