Approximately 65 Iranian tankers are now serving as floating storage facilities in the Persian Gulf as an oil embargo grips the country, according to a report in The New York Times, some having been painted over to conceal their origin and to make it easier to find a buyer.
Despite a new European Union embargo placed on Iran, and other international sanctions meant to force the country to abandon the development of nuclear weapons, Iran continues to produce oil at roughly the same pace as always, according to The Times, in an effort not to harm its wells.
Oil experts estimate that Iran is warehousing as many as 40 million barrels -- about two weeks of production -- of oil on the tankers.
The Times reports that one tanker had its name painted over to conceal its identity and now reads “Funafuti” – the capital of the island nation Tuvalu. In an effort to hide how many ships are at sea, Iranian tankers have also shut off their GPS tracking devices.
The U.S. has been quietly reinforcing its military presence in the Gulf, sending minesweepers and additional jets to the region since late spring.