US seeking to seize 2m barrels of what it claims is Iranian oil

The US is reported to be trying to seize around 2m barrels of oil on crude oil tanker Achilleas (IMO 9398072), oil which the US claims comes from Iran.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported that the Achilleas was sailing to the US after the Department of Justice issued a seizure order. However, the order came before January 20th, when Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump as US president.

The Achilleas’ Greek owner, Capital Ship Management Corp, alerted US authorities to the possibility it had unknowingly taken on Iranian crude, after initially believing it came from Iraq, the unnamed sources claimed. The vessel was fully loaded, according to shipping documents.

VLCC Achilleas received its oil from another ship at the UAE port of Fujairah in November. According to the shipping documents, the Achilleas was then scheduled to sail to the Omani capital of Muscat.

Its tracking system was switched off from January 1st until January 13th when it was sailing near South Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was now traveling across the South Atlantic Ocean, with a listed destination of Galveston Offshore Lightering Area, Gulf of Mexico, ETA February 15th.

The Ushas tried to seize Iranian petroleum before. Last year, it intercepted vessels it said were carrying gasoline from the Islamic Republic to Venezuela.

2010-built, Liberia-flagged, 156,915 gt Achilleas is owned by Achilleas Carriers Corp care of manager Capital Ship Management of Piraeus, Greece. It is entered with London Club on behalf of Achilleas Carriers Corp.