Syria: Third Time's A Charm?

Published in Discoveries. ∼ Updated Jun 16, 2020

After resting on a 8 meter deep sandbank in Latakia, Syria, Iran’s TOUR 2 Suezmax (1 million barrel capacity) crude oil tanker has finally been tugged out of the shallow waters off the beach of Latakia, Syria. The vessel made its delivery of Iranian crude oil on January 1st, 2019 at the Baniyas refinery in Syria and then got caught two weeks later in a storm while sailing too close to the shoreline. The waves ended up beaching the vessel as a result on January 15th.

Now that nearly four months have passed, we see (on a lower resolution image) that the vessel was no longer beached as of May 6th, and a clearer image on May 11th shows that the vessel is still in the anchorage area.

Incidentally, May 5th was also the day we saw the TRUE OCEAN (now called MASAL) deliver a million barrels of Iranian crude oil; making it the second delivery this year. Our news broke on CNBC the other day.

The question now is whether TOUR 2 will resume operations as she has a very long list of (17) deficiencies, according to the maritime safety website, Equasis. The latest inspection was when the vessel was anchored in Limassol for ten months during 2018. The January delivery to Baniyas was her first oil delivery run since then. The crew must be fairly frustrated for being idle this long. Twice.

PS: The vessel has been offline from the AIS (Automatic Identification System) grid since December 24th, 2018; when she had departed the Suez Canal.

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