A Hull in Their Story: Satellite imagery, AIS, and the Ships Secretly Transporting Iranian Gas to China

April 23, 2020

Publication: 

C4ADS

Related Country: 

  • China

In November 2019, at least two VLGCs (very large gas carriers, ships that carry between 50,000 and 80,000 cubic meters of gas) visited an export terminal in Asaluyeh, Iran, an industrial town on the southwestern coast of the country, to load up on liquified petroleum gas (LPG), in violation of US economic sanctions on petroleum and petroleum-related products from Iran, in force since November 2018. After loading in Iran, these ships crossed the Indian Ocean, passed the Strait of Malacca, and arrived at import facilities at several locations in China. Thanks to commercially available satellite imagery, automatic identification system (AIS) data, and other publicly available information, C4ADS can offer insights into this illicit trade, detail how it is conducted, and even identify some of the likely players involved.

Read the full report at C4ADS.