The United States for the second time in a month is going after the oil tankers involved in the Russian oil trade as reports persist of repeated violations of the price cap improved by the G7 and Western nations. U.S. officials said today’s action, which includes sanctions on three tankers but stops short of naming Sovcomfot directly, again underscores the Treasury Department and Biden Administration’s commitment, alongside its international partners, to reducing oil revenues that the Russian government can use to bankroll the war in Ukraine.
“Shipping companies and vessels participating in the Russian oil trade while using Price Cap Coalition service providers should fully understand that we will hold them accountable for compliance,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “We are committed to maintaining market stability in spite of Russia’s war against Ukraine while cutting into the profits the Kremlin is using to fund its illegal war and remaining unyielding in our pursuit of those facilitating evasion of the price cap.”
The action comes just days after a report that Russia is routinely exceeding the price cap. Unnamed EU officials responded to the Financial Times saying that it was clear efforts needed to be taken to tighten up the controls. Reports surfaced that the EU was considering having Denmark act as an enforcer checking the documentation of tankers. Denmark administers key sea lanes that are the passageway from the Baltic which accounts for as much as 60 percent of Russia’s oil exports.
In the latest efforts, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is imposing sanctions on three entities and identifying as blocked property three crude oil tankers that used Price Cap Coalition service providers while carrying Russian crude oil above the coalition-agreed price cap.
The targeted vessels were part of the fleet of ships Sovcomflot moved into the management of companies based in the UAE in response to the growing sanction. Listed by the U.S. are the Kazan, a 2003-built 115,000 dwt tanker, the Ligovsky Prospect, a 2003-built 114,600 dwt tanker, and the NS Century, a 2006-built 110,000 dwt tanker. All the vessels are registered in Liberia. All three of the tankers are currently in Asia, with two of them showing from their AIS that they are in Chinese ports.
U.S. officials alleged that the vessels engaged in the export of Russian crude oil priced above $60 per barrel after the crude oil price cap took effect. They said the tankers had each used U.S.-person services while transporting the Russian-origin crude oil.
As with the effort in October, the U.S. however stopped short of directly naming Russia and Sovcomflot. They designated Kazan Shipping, Progress Shipping, and Gallion Navigation, each based in the UAE operating or having operated in the marine sector of the Russian Federation economy.
The U.S. imposed the first sanctions on two tankers in mid-October as it sought to increase pressure on the price cap while the G7 also issued a statement warning the shipping industry on the tactics used for price evasion. With the price of oil however hovering around $25 above the cap Russia has been easily evading the cap. Reuters however cited data from the International Energy Agency showing a small decline of nearly 70,000 barrels per day in Russian exports.
A Treasury official also told Reuters that the U.S. would take further unspecified action in the coming weeks and months to increase Russia’s costs. Oil remains one of the main targets in the efforts to reduce Russia’s export income.
In June, a UK Royal Navy destroyer and Dutch Royal Navy ship safely moored in Odessa, Ukraine, were spoofed to locations off-shore of a Russian naval base on Crimea. One week later, it was a US Navy ship moored in the same port that was spoofed (above). These are interesting cases in several ways. First, how […]
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
As the shipping industry works to develop its path towards decarbonization, one large shipowner has decided to use the existing technology to start a conversion to methanol while longer-term solutions continue to be developed. Eastern Pacific Shipping, which has a fleet of containerships, dry bulk carriers, and tankers totally 15 million dwt, will work with […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]