( Reuters) – 2 Iranian-flagged tankers transferring fuel are sailing round Africa’s Cape of Good Hope en route to the Atlantic Ocean, according to Refinitiv Eikon’s vessel tracking information.

The medium-size vessels Forest and Fortune, carrying about 300,000 barrels of fuel each filled at Iran’s Bandar Abbas terminal last month, are bound for Venezuela, according to sources with understanding of the shipment.

Gas deficiency in Venezuela has actually aggravated in current days due to inadequate domestic production, leaving long lines of motorists waiting in front of stations and increasing the need for imported fuel.

Iran sent a first flotilla of five fuel tankers to Venezuela between Might and June to help its political ally, which is likewise under U.S. sanctions. The vessels got here in Venezuelan state-run PDVSA’s ports without disturbances.

But a 2nd armada of 4 Liberia-flagged tankers owned by a Greek shipping group did not come to the South American nation in July as the fuel was taken by Washington under a court order. The fuel is anticipated to be auctioned as part of the U.S. court action.

The Forest and Fortune have not officially altered their destinations. They continue sailing under the indication “for order” and estimated date of arrival later this month, the Eikon information revealed.

A 3rd Iranian tanker of the exact same size that also filled fuel in August at Bandar Abbas, the Faxon, has kept its transponder switched off because it set sail, the data revealed, making it challenging for tracking systems to identify its place.

That vessel is likewise bound for Venezuela, according to the sources, but the route it took is yet unidentified.

2 separate sources stated earlier today that the 3 tankers interacted with the Suez Canal in early September to sail through the waterway, but they did not hand down the scheduled date.

Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Leslie Adler

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