October Update on Iran’s NITC Tankers

Iran’s crude and condensate exports rose slightly in October from the previous month with shipments going to China and Syria. China was again the primary purchaser of Iranian oil. Ship signals were lost for most of the country’s tanker fleet, making accurate assessments difficult. 

Deliveries to Syria

The sanction-designated National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) ship SINOPA (IMO: 9172038) loaded 1,000,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran on October 1, 2019. The vessel “went dark” by switching off its satellite transponder in the East Mediterranean on October 16. On that date its height in the water (draft)was 16.1, indicating it was laden with oil cargo. Nine days later, SINOPA reappeared  with a draft of 9.2, indicating SINOPA  unloaded its oil at a port, most likely in Syria. Indeed, Tankertrackers.com had confirmed that SINOPA arrived off the coast of Baniyas, Syria on October 19, 2019.

(Sources: Bloomberg L.P., Mapbox, OpenStreetMap)

Deliveries to China

The NITC Very Large Crude Carrier DAN (IMO: 9357729) loaded 2,000,000 barrels from Iran on October 2, 2019. The vessel appeared in the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia on October 15, 2019 and arrived at Huizhou, China, on October 30, 2019 full with its draft at 19. DAN completed its delivery on November 2, 2019 indicated by its draft at the lower 11.2. NITC vessel DANIEL made a delivery at the same terminal in July 2019.