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Iranian tanker released by Gibraltar sailing towards Greece: cFlow

Highlights

Grace 1 renamed to Adrian Darya 1

US in bid to seize tanker

London — The Iranian tanker released by the Gibraltar authorities sailed from the UK territory Sunday night and is now heading towards Greece, Platts trade flow software, cFlow, showed.

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The Gibraltar government released the Iranian supertanker Grace 1 last Thursday August 15, after receiving assurances from Iran that the tanker would not deliver the crude to Syria.

Hours after the move, the Grace 1 was renamed to Adrian Darya 1, and its flag was changed to the Iranian flag from the Panama flag.

The tanker is currently sailing eastwards from Gibraltar and Platts cFlow showed the captain's destination as Kalamata, in southern Greece. The tanker is still laden with 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude.

However, Kalamata has no oil import facility and analysts do not expect this tanker to discharge any oil in Greece due to ongoing US sanctions.

Gibraltar authorities had accused the tanker of taking oil to the Baniyas refinery in Syria.

Iranian oil exports are under US' stringent sanctions and no Iranian oil has traveled to the European Union since late-October.

UK armed forces boarded Grace 1 in Gibraltar's waters on July 4, and the ship had been in detention for almost seven weeks.

The government of Gibraltar also rejected a US request to seize an Iranian tanker that was released by the British territory after being detained for more than a month on suspicion of transporting oil to sanctions-hit Syria.

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Last week, the US had requested to seize Grace 1, which was carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude that was allegedly headed to Syria's Baniyas refinery.

On July 19, Iranian forces detained the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has yet to release Stena Impero, despite UK government requests to return the tanker.

-- Eklavya Gupte, eklavya.gupte@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Norazlina Jumaat, norazlina.jumaat@spglobal.com