Bloomberg reported that Russia is preparing a "shadow fleet" of oil tankers
On the eve of December 5, when the EU oil embargo will come into effect, Russia is creating a “shadow fleet” of oil tankers that companies close to Moscow are buying up around the world, writes Bloomberg.
According to the agency, despite Western sanctions, September figures for offshore oil shipments from Russia are higher than in February. At the same time, deliveries to Europe were reduced to a minimum, while deliveries to Asia, as well as deliveries to unknown destinations, increased manifold.
Bloomberg attributes this growth to the "shadow fleet" of oil tankers that Moscow is creating. “If you look at how many vessels have been sold in the last six months to unnamed buyers, it becomes very clear that a fleet is being built to carry them,” Christian Ingerslev, chief executive of Maersk Tankers, told the agency.
According to ship broker Braemar, to support oil exports to Asian countries at the level of 4 million barrels. per day, Russia has already purchased 240 small and large vessels, which transported Iranian and Venezuelan oil last year. “Tanker trade has skyrocketed since the start of the war and ahead of the December 5 deadline from undisclosed entities based in countries such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cyprus,” said Anup Singh, head of research at Braemar.
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In addition, according to Bloomberg, Russia is actively preparing for the transshipment of cargo from one tanker to another directly at sea. According to the agency, they plan to use giant supertankers for this, which are too large to leave the ports of the Baltic Sea with cargo on board, so they need small “shuttle tankers”. Also, this practice is planned to be actively used in the international waters of autonomous regions under the governments of European countries.
The EU oil embargo on shipping oil from Russia will come into force on December 5. From the same time, the European Union and the G7 countries will prohibit banks, insurers and ports from financing the purchase and sale of Russian oil, insuring cargo on ships or unloading them if the price of oil on board a tanker exceeds the established limit. The "price ceiling" for oil from Russia was included in the eighth package of EU sanctions, but its limit has not yet been approved.
As Bloomberg previously reported, the United States intends to seek the introduction of a cap on oil prices from Russia at $60. This is due to the fact that the US midterm elections are approaching, and gasoline prices are skyrocketing, the agency clarifies.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly warned that the country will not supply oil to those countries that will introduce a price ceiling. “Whatever it is, $60 or something else. This is interference in market instruments. We are ready to work with those consumers who are ready to work on market conditions,” Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said.
Earlier, Reuters wrote that Russia could start using the "shadow fleet" to circumvent European sanctions. The United States is aware of the actions that are being taken to circumvent restrictions, for example, some ships are changing countries of registration, the agency's source in the US government noted. According to him, because of the "price ceiling" Russia will face some technical and financial difficulties, but the rest of the world will lose 1-2% of oil supplies amid rising inflation.
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