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UN Maritime Company Raises Security Issues About Shadow Oil Tanker Fleet

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UN Maritime Agency Raises Safety Concerns About Shadow Oil Tanker Fleet

A United Nations company that oversees transport raised issues concerning the shadow fleet of tankers that has emerged to move oil amid sanctions, calling for extra steps to spice up security.

States that turn out to be conscious of ships going darkish — or turning off their transponders — needs to be topic to extra inspections, in line with the authorized committee of the Worldwide Maritime Group.

The panel additionally took problem with the apply of ship-to-ship transfers of oil on the open ocean, saying that it heightens the chance of air pollution for coastal states.

Getting older Shadow Fleet, Delivery Russian Oil, Poses Catastrophe Threat

Nations together with Spain, Australia, the U.S. and Canada are a part of a push on the IMO to extend oversight of the murky actions in oil buying and selling which have emerged inside the final yr. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and subsequent sanctions by Western governments — upended transport routes for the world’s most traded commodity.

Spain, which has witnessed a surge within the exercise off its north African enclave of Ceuta, mentioned it plans to name for stronger guidelines governing ship-to-ship transfers of oil on the IMO’s meeting assembly later this yr.

The subject is particularly delicate for the nation as a result of it suffered one of many worst oil spills in European historical past when a tanker referred to as the Status cut up in half, leaking virtually all its cargo of heavy gasoline oil into the ocean off the nation’s coast.

Spain is in search of certification of the origin of oil transferred from ship-to-ship, mentioned Victor Jimenez, the nation’s consultant to the IMO, in an interview. The nation additionally desires coastal states to determine particular zones to hold out such transfers, in the event that they may very well be affected by an accident.

Getting older Turba

Whereas extra Russian crude has flowed to Asia inside the final yr, a shadow fleet of lots of of growing old vessels has emerged to facilitate the commerce. The committee talked about a 26-year-old tanker referred to as the Turba, which Bloomberg reported Sunday, had collected the identical cargo of heavy gasoline, from the identical Russian port, because the Status.

Tankers “at the hours of darkness fleet posed an actual and excessive threat of incident significantly when engaged in ship-to-ship transfers, as they disguised the cargoes’ locations or origins, or prevented oversight or regulation by flag or coastal States,” the panel mentioned.

The Russian delegation to the IMO referred to as for governments to not abuse sanctions and to cease proscribing actions of different states. Whereas seeing the advantage of some further oversight, Russia mentioned the supply of present issues is rooted in “illegitimate sanctions,” in line with the committee.

{Photograph}: An oil tanker is silhouetted towards the hazy sky. Photograph credit score: Marcelo del Pozo/Bloomberg


Copyright 2023 Bloomberg.

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