“Go to destination without reporting” Russia avoids sanctions for a large number of secret oil sales

On the 25th of last month, Greenpeace intercepted a tanker carrying Russian crude oil to Norway. (Reuters)


Nikkei Asia reported on the 12th,RussiaNearly a third of tankers owned by major shipping companies have left without informing their destination since Russia invaded Ukraine. Analysts said it remains to be seen why Western sanctions on Russia’s energy exports are difficult to enforce.

MarineTraffic’s Nikkei analysis of public information revealed that in March and April of this year, there were a maximum of 24 of the 76 oil tankers belonging to the Russian state-run shipping company Sovcomflot, and coincidentally the time did not provide travel destination information. The Russo-Ukrainian War continued in March and April.


This is almost five times the number of ships with “unknown destination” in the past year; Usually the highest proportion of such vessels is about 10%.

The strict sanctions network of Western countries makes it difficult for Russian ships to find favorable ports to dock. However, Russia has notably discounted crude oil prices to attract large buyers.

For example, the Nikkei stated that a Russian oil tanker had originally sailed off the coast of Scotland and was supposed to dock at the port of Orkney, but was suddenly unable to enter the port due to restrictions that came into force on 1 March. The tanker was diverted to Denmark, but instead of unloading crude there, it floated at sea for a month, and then changed its destination “waiting for orders” for two weeks, and in April did not show his course till the end ofIndia,

Sovcomflot ships with a clear destination port are mostly sailing to their own ports in Russia or to ports in mainland China. Nikkei said it was unable to receive comment from SovComflot on the matter.

Russia’s crude exports last year stood at about 5.33 million barrels per day, of which 34% was transported by pipeline to buyers such as mainland China, and the rest was shipped by sea. The Urals crude oil produced by it is now 30% cheaper than Brent crude. Big discounts have worked, and market demand has relatively increased. Crude oil exports to China and India rose 15% and 22%, respectively, for the month ended April 24, while the Ural to the Netherlands also grew by nearly 20%.

A source at a trading company told Nikkei that refiners, which continue to buy oil from Russia, are trying to find ships from outside Russia to deliver them, but there are not enough replacement ships in the tanker market.

The fact that the ship does not have a clear destination port is usually actually waiting for an order from the owner, but it can also be due to a party.take possessionCovertly trading and willfully concealing and not reporting. According to TankerTrackers.com, Russian tankers loaded 17 times more crude into unattended destinations in April than in March.

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