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Oil Tankers’ Tracking Signals Are Vanishing in the Strait of Hormuz

  • Vessels’ signals increasingly going dark near perilous strait
  • Some ships appear to have altered routes amid tensions
Multiple ships’ signals disappeared from tracking after loading in the Persian Gulf
Multiple ships’ signals disappeared from tracking after loading in the Persian Gulf
Updated on

Oil tanker owners are finding a way to reduce the risks of navigating the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important -- and lately most dangerous -- energy chokepoint: vanish from global tracking systems.

Copying from Iran’s own playbook, at least 20 ships turned off their transponders while passing through the strait this month, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. Others appear to have slightly altered their routes once inside the Persian Gulf, sailing closer than usual to Saudi Arabia’s coast en route to ports in Kuwait or Iraq.