Iran Tanker Update – December 2019

To wrap up UANI’s ship-tracking in 2019, in December the vessel monitoring team identified a new Iranian crude oil ship to ship (STS) transfer location off the coast of the Indonesian island of Karimunbesar. Karimunbesar Island is one of the islands in the Riau Islands chain, just south of Singapore and west of the Indonesian island of Batam.

(Source: Google Maps)

The first sign of a new STS site occurred on November 5, 2019, when the Iranian National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) tanker ARGO I signaled “NIPAH” as its destination. This is a very uncommon signal for an Iranian tanker. The next day ARGO I was reported to have anchored at the port of Pulau Sambu, Indonesia. Upon arrival, ARGO I’s draft was at 13.5, and on November 8, 2019, ARGO I departed the anchorage with a draft at 8.5, indicating that sometime during November 5-8, ARGO I discharged its crude oil, likely in a STS transfer.