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Friday, March 31, 2023

Russia successfully circumvents the oil embargo thanks to the ghost fleet


Russia manages to successfully circumvent sanctions on the export of oil and petroleum products, practically without reducing the volume of deliveries abroad. Up to a third of maritime energy exports after the introduction of EU and US price caps come at the expense of the ghost fleet.

We are talking about ships of different tonnage, the affiliation of which is difficult to establish from open sources. The “ghost fleet” was previously successfully used by Iran, Venezuela, which fell under Western sanctions.

With the announcement of a Russian oil embargo in 2022, the size of the ghost fleet began to grow. Last year set a record for the number of tanker sales to unknown owners. According to some experts, the number of such ships can reach up to 600.

In this situation, the carriers are ready to change Iran and Venezuela for Russia. Russian oil from the Urals is lighter than Iranian and Venezuelan. In addition, Russian suppliers are ready to offer a greater discount. Thanks to this, Russia continues to successfully sell its oil outside the price ceiling. In recent months, the volume of deliveries has increased slightly, especially in recent days after the introduction of self-limitations in March to reduce oil production to 500,000 bpd.

Russian oil trade becomes super profitable. Its oil must be sold at lower prices. The discount from Urals to Brent is a few dollars. Argus admits that oil from Western ports is selling for less than $50 a barrel, but more than the data from East Asian ports suggests. Thus, the intermediaries literally manage to enrich themselves.

Earlier it was reported that on September 2, 2022, the finance ministers of the group of major G7 countries (G7) agreed to set a ceiling price for the export of Russian oil by sea to limit the capacity of the Kremlin to finance a special operation program in Ukraine.

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