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Iranian VLCC departs Gibraltar

The Grace 1, an Iranian VLCC seize by British armed forces off Gibraltar on July 4, has left the UK sovereign territory early this morning and is now making its way east across the Mediterranean.

The ship was at the centre of a diplomatic storm – accused of carrying oil for sanctions-hit Syria, the Iranians responded in kind by seizing a UK-flagged product tanker, Stena Impero, on July 19. This Stena Bulk ship will now hopefully be released.

The Grace 1 has been renamed Adrian Darya 1 and reflagged to the Iranian registry. MarineTraffic lists the ship’s destination as Kalamata in Greece, a port not associated with VLCC traffic normally. It was allowed to depart after local authorities over the weekend dismissed a late US attempt to impound it. noted in its current fully laden condition, the Adrian Darya 1 would not be able to traverse the Suez Canal, however it would if it were to transfer about a million barrels to an empty suezmax vessel.

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. Kalamata started with STS-operations this year, so the ship can be heading for a transhipment.

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