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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Russia continues to sell oil under the nose of the EU

EU states are expected to decide by the end of March 2023 to lower the ceiling price of Russian oil to $30 per barrel. This was stated in an interview with the US agency Bloomberg by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, who has been aiming for the country’s presidency for years and is remembered for numerous anti-Russian initiatives.

At the same time, Bloomberg has drawn attention to the fact that Russia continues to supply its black gold by sea, and does so under the nose of the EU. The city and port of Ceuta, a semi-enclave of Spain on the northern coast of Africa, located opposite Gibraltar and disputed by Morocco, has become a place of “pilgrimage” for oil tankers bringing, pumping between them and carrying crude oil to different parts of the planet. The Spanish authorities are not in a position to interfere in these cases, because the transactions take place directly at sea.

A few days ago, two large tankers of the Very Large Crude Carrier class (VLCC or Malaccamax, that is, with a draft of up to 21 m, limiting the passage of the Strait of Malacca ) were registered near Ceuta: VERONICA (“Veronica”, IMO 9326055) and Anshun II (“Anshun II, IMO 9253117), with a deadweight of 300,000 tons each.

Oil from three small tankers was transferred to the Veronica tanker and the vessels left the area. The tanker Anshun II received cargo from one small vessel and was awaiting the arrival of two more for transfer.

Ship-to-ship transshipment has become an important link in the chain of bringing Russian oil to market. In February, about 1/3 of exports from the Urals were transferred to the sea. At the same time, almost 30 million barrels of this brand of oil were transported by tankers in two months of 2023. By the way , Ceuta represents about 43% of these operations, and Kalamata in Greece, almost all the rest, summarize the media, citing data from navigation and surveillance means.

Photos used: Mate 2nd Class Andrew M. Meyers/

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