Middle EastTankers

End game in sight as controversial Iranian VLCC prepares to head home

Having taken five months to deliver its cargo of crude, the end game is finally in sight for the Iranian VLCC Adrian Darya 1, with the tanker now in Syrian waters and its oil in the process of being offloaded having found a buyer.

The ship has been carrying the same cargo since April on a circuitous route that has seen it pass the Cape of Good Hope, enter the Mediterranean where it was detained on July 4 over claims it was bound for sanctions-hit Syria.

With the controversial ship expected to head through the Suez and back home to Iran, authorities in Tehran have said over the weekend that the remaining crew on the Stena Impero, a product tanker detained since July 19 in retaliation for its own VLCC being taken in Gibraltar earlier, could be freed in the coming days.

In related news, the Iranian coast guard revealed on Saturday it had arrested a tug, Al Buraq 1, and its 12 Filipino crew in the east of the Strait of Hormuz over alleged fuel smuggling, the third vessel to be detained on such charges in the past two months. The tug is now moored at Qeshm port, near Bandar Abbas.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Wow, the amount of Evil Empire propaganda in this article is quite ridiculous.
    Here’s the bottom line: Iran can trade with whomever it wants, and it is not illegal. What is illegal is the US sanctions – they are crimes against humanity. EU can boycott whoever they want but Iran does not have to comply. If Iran stated it would not deliver oil to Syria illegally, it was 100% correct, as there is nothing whatsoever illegal about it.

  2. It is very unlikely she will return to Iran with a half cargo on board, and being too big to berth in Banias, my guess is she will discharge the rest of her cargo in to a Suezmax, and then head home empty.

  3. It was a wrong report that the tug manned by Filipino crew were smuggling they were just in wrong area anchoring as per advise by the charters.

Back to top button