HomeFutures and CommoditiesRussian oil and goods stranded on ships due to Iran sanctions, impacting...

Russian oil and goods stranded on ships due to Iran sanctions, impacting trade and economy.

Russian Oil Tankers Trapped at Sea Amid Fresh US Sanctions

Russian Oil Tankers Stranded

Russian oil and products are currently stuck at sea on four tankers due to new Iran-related sanctions imposed by the United States, according to LSEG data. This situation highlights the deepening cooperation between Moscow and Tehran in response to escalating Western sanctions, as well as the West’s efforts to close loopholes and cut off revenue to both countries.

Impact of Sanctions on Vessels

On April 4, the US imposed sanctions on a shipping firm, Oceanlink Maritime DMCC, and its vessels for their involvement in transporting commodities for the Iranian military. The US aims to isolate Iran financially and disrupt its support for proxy groups and Russia’s activities in Ukraine through these sanctions.

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Vessels Under Sanctions

Among the vessels sanctioned are three fuel tankers that loaded oil products in February-March and a tanker that carried Russian oil in early April. The VLCC Anthea, loaded with Russian Urals crude, has been anchored in the Suez Canal since early April after conducting ship-to-ship transfers near Greece.

Challenges Faced by Vessels

Other sanctioned vessels include Elsa, which loaded fuel oil in March near the Greek port of Kalamata and has been anchored off Singapore since early April. Hebe, loaded with fuel oil in Russian Baltic ports, is heading towards the Suez Canal. Additionally, Baxter, loaded with naphtha in Novorossiisk, has been drifting in the Arabian Sea since April 5.

Impact on Russian Oil Suppliers

Russian oil suppliers are unlikely to use vessels from sanctioned firms, further restricting the already limited tonnage available for Russian oil trades. Efforts to contact Oceanlink Maritime DMCC were unsuccessful.

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Implications of Sanctions

The recent actions against vessels linked to Iran’s military indicate a shift in their operations towards Russia. These vessels face significant obstacles due to secondary sanctions, potentially leading to ports worldwide denying them entry to avoid repercussions.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Birds fly above buildings as flue gas and steam rise out of chimneys and smokestacks of an oil refinery during sunset on a frosty day in the Siberian city of Omsk, Russia, February 8, 2023. REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko/File Photo

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