Analysts at a watchdog that monitors global oil shipments have revealed that they have been utterly exhausted from trying to track Iran’s oil exports amid a looming USA embargo on the petrochemical sector.
According to TankerTrackers.com, in late October all Iranian ships switched off their transponders to avoid international tracking systems for the first time since the watchdog started operating in 2016, after stolen ISIS oil cargo shipments ended up in Israel and Houston, USA.
Currently, the vessels can only be monitored using satellite imagery, and analysts at the online service believe that such a shift to lesser transparency is part of Iran’s relentless efforts to keep oil flowing regardless of the impending US sanctions.
Iran has around 30 vessels in the Gulf area, so the past 10 days have been very tricky, but it has not slowed tracking down. We are keeping watch visually,” said co-founder Lisa Ward.
Oil industry experts suggest that going dark could pose a problem for ship-tracking services trying to pinpoint the exact date and sometimes the exact hour when a tanker loaded its crude cargo.
According to TankerTrackers.com, today there are six ships with a total capacity of 11 million barrels anchored offshore as floating storage containers, which allows Iran to proceed with quick deliveries.
Iran is the third-largest oil producer in OPEC, and the country’s First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri revealed in late October that Tehran had been exporting 2.5 million barrels per day over the past few months.
The USA is set to introduce new restrictions on Iran’s energy sector, shipping, ship-building and financial industries on November 5, with a stated goal to cut its exports to zero, which, according to Tehran, is impossible, since there is no substitution for it on the market.
The Trump administration is mulling over granting eight jurisdiction waivers that will allow certain countries to continue buying Iranian oil if they make substantial cuts to their purchases.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Oil News 2018.