Russian oil Products Trade, Shadow Tanker Fleet Under Increasing Scrutiny

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday February 26, 2024

A move by the European Union to hinder tanker sales to Russia came into force last week.

The measures aim to stem the flow of older ships, from established European owners, that then go on to be involved in the transport of Russian oil.

Demand for secondhand tankers has seen values rise, according to maritime news provider Tradewinds..

The spike in tanker asset prices has been driven by new players and Russian interests snapping up tonnage to service the country's oil exports and tap surging freight rates as many European and G7 players withdrew from the trade, the report said.

In a separate move, hundreds of non-governmental organisations have signed an open letter to EU and G7 leaders urging them to "plug energy sanctions loopholes".

Among the measures identified in the letter as requiring stricter enforcement are the "lower pice caps on Russian crude oil and oil products".

The letter adds that "transparent and verifiable compliance mechanisms for oil traders and shippers" should be introduced "especially [for] those who operate European-owned and P&I insured tankers that export Russian oil".

The ngos call the emergence of a shadow fleet of oil tankers "dangerous" and posing an environmental threat.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has entered its third year. Sanctions imposed on Russia by primarily western nations early on in the war had the task of limiting Russia's ability to finance its military campaign.