Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 (IMO 9116412), formerly called Grace 1, after changing its tracking destination over the weekend to the Turkish port of Mersin, from its previously announced destination of the Greek port of Kalamanta, on Monday made its destination “unknown”.
The “smart money” appears to be on the vessel planning a ship-to-ship transfer of crude oil before heading through the Suez Canal. The transfer would be necessary for the vessel’s draught to comply with the canal’s capacity.
Iran government spokesman Ali Rabiei was quoted by IRIB news agency as saying that Iran had sold the oil and that “now the owner and purchaser of this oil will decide the destination of the cargo”.
Adrian Darya was released from detention off Gibraltar after a five-week standoff over whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria, which would have been in violation of EU sanctions.
Yesterday (Monday August 26th) the tanker’s location was south of mainland Greece, west of Crete.
The US has told countries not to assist the vessel because the US considers it under control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, deemed a terrorist group by the US.
D ata from MarineTraffic on Saturday showed the vessel as planning to sail past Greece before docking at the southern Turkish port of Mersin on August 31st.
Greece had said it would not offer any facilities to the tanker.
TankerTrackers.com Inc tweeted late last week (during the period that the official destination was Greece) that “the forecasted route will most likely not be applicable due to Greece being an EU nation. They will likely sail around Greece instead.”
It subsequently tweeted, during the short period that the vessel’s fficial destination was Turkey, that “again, we would like to remind journalists that our analysis remains unchanged: The vessel will not deliver its oil cargo to Turkey. We believe she will rendezvous with an empty Iranian tanker and deliver 700,000 to one million barrels, before heading for the Suez Canal.”
1997-built, Iran-flagged, 156,680 gt Grace 1 is owned by Grace Tankers Ltd.