July 2020 Iran Tanker Tracking
Observed flows of Iranian crude oil and condensates rose slightly to 264k barrels per day (Bloomberg) in July compared to the previous month. However, there remains a huge discrepancy between what we are able to track and what Iran is still managing to export under the radar. According to Tanker Trackers, there is an estimated additional 860k bpd unaccounted for: that is, “destination unknown.”
Notably, some proportion of the “unknown” column relates to the identification by Tanker Trackers of 13 foreign supertankers engaging in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers in Iranian waters. Nearly all of these STS transfers took place north of Lavan Island, an area that trackers do not normally look at because it is neither an export terminal nor a designated STS area. These reported transfers – completely illicit if accurately reported – are currently being checked and verified.
Of the observed shipments, UANI closely tracked the Iranian crude oil tankers STREAM, SNOW and SAHRA (formerly known as SAFOORA). STREAM appeared in the Strait of Malacca on June 29, signaling its destination as the Far East with a draft indicating it was fully laden with oil. On July 8, after two weeks “dark” (with its satellite tracking system turned off, contravening maritime rules and endangering other vessels) STREAM arrived at Huizhou port, China, MaBianZhou CNOOC Crude Terminal. STREAM departed China on July 11 Indicating by its draft that it had delivered its contents successfully.