While en route to southern Turkey on Thursday the Iranian tanker Adrian Darya made a sudden 180 degree course alteration, and is now headed away from the Turkish coast and again in the direction of EU-member Greece.
Refinitiv ship tracking data as well as MarineTraffic.com showed the drastic change in course as the ship's data signals a destination "For Order" designation, meaning the vessel isn’t disclosing any destination, after it previously listed Mersin, Turkey just days ago. It made the drastic maneuver just as it began entering Turkish territorial waters.
#Iranian tanker #AdrianDarya1 makes a 180 deg course alteration. Destination still indicates - For Orders. From her position #Turkey and #Syria remained potential options for discharge. Matter of time before she turns her AIS off for some lightering? #RefinitivOilResearch #OOTT pic.twitter.com/lbwPWkQuw5— Refinitiv Energy (@RefinitivEnergy) August 29, 2019
Current tracking data shows the ship between the coasts of Turkey and Cyprus, heading west, at a moment there's still an active US seizure warrant for the vessel.
On Monday an Iranian government spokesman announced the 2.1 million barrels have been sold to an unnamed buyer while en route across the Mediterranean after it was released.
In statements made to reporters in Tehran, spokesman Ali Rabiei, said of the oil's as yet unmentioned unloading point, “The buyer of the oil decides where its destination is.”
He added that the world is “witnessing the wrong policy by the U.S. in monitoring and intervention in others’ internal affairs.”
All hands on deck in the campaign to stop Iran from funding terror, destabilizing the globe, and breaking international sanctions. The illicit oil heading to Turkey on the Adrian Darya 1 must not be allowed off-loaded in port or at sea.— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) August 26, 2019
The Unites States says the tanker is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and thus deems any state's interaction with it support of a formally designated terrorist group.
Curious maneuvering: Iran flag tanker Adrian Darya 1 was heading E but made a 180turn now heading SW & slowing down. I still predict the ship will end up in south of of Cyprus where it will discharge its cargo onto smaller vessels via ship-to-ship transfer. #OOTT @TankerTrackers pic.twitter.com/eCDAEJKAOr— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 29, 2019
It's expected that it will at some point attempt a ship-to-ship transfer at sea before the oil is transferred and ultimately offloaded at a port of the undisclosed purchaser's choice.