BIMCO’s analyst, Mr Peter Sand published its analysis on the tanker market, highlighting that after the downfall the market experienced in October, it made a bounce reaching a peak in late November and early December. As prices were pushed down by all-time high Saudi Arabian crude oil production that peaked at 11.1m barrels per day in November.
Saudi Arabia’s tanker owner Bahri has dismissed reports that one of its very large crude carriers (VLCCs) was breaching U.S. sanctions on Venezuela. The company reports that the cargo, they’re accused of, was contracted on January 9, 2019, well before the U.S. sanctions were imposed against Venezuela on January 28, 2019. The company’s 303,000 dwt oil tanker Abqaiq is on its way from the Red Sea to pick up a cargo from the Port of Jose Terminal in Venezuela for one of its Indian customers.
US sanctions on Iran have forced South Korea to look for alternative sources of condensates, thereby impacting tonne-mile demand, shipping consultancy Drewry said. Meanwhile, as Asian petrochemical consumption is likely to slow down, intra-regional trade will weaken and will therefore lead to lower charter rates for small gas carriers.
A flotilla loaded with approximately 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay, according to Reuters. Trump’s decision to impose sanctions last week was meant to undercut support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
According to Drewry, US sanctions on Venezuela are possible to shift the pattern of crude tanker trade, with long-haul trade replacing the short-haul trade. In fact, while the expected change in trade pattern will favour VLCCs, it will raise challenges for Aframaxes. These measures could halt Venezuela’s crude exports. Namely, Rajesh Verma, Lead Analyst, Tanker Shipping, explains.
Trump administration has moved forward, imposing new financial sanctions on Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA, as part of a pressure campaign to make the government of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro step down. The new US measures aim to affect the pattern of petroleum shipping in the Caribbean and beyond, since the US has trade relations of oil and refined products with Venezuela.
US OFAC has notified Congress of their intention to remove Rusal and associated companies from the US SDN list by 18 January 2019, following significant changes made to the company’s structure. OFAC decision means that ships will be able to trade freely with Rusal. However, the current partial shutdown of the US Government may be impacting implementation of the changes.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued an advisory notice concerning the risks of transporting petroleum shipments to Syria. OFAC warns that such actions could breach U.S. sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a threat earlier this week, to disrupt other countries’ oil shipments through the Gulf, in case the US proceeds with efforts to stop Iranian oil exports. Mr. Rouhani specifically said if the US decides to eventually prevent the export of Iran’s oil, ‘then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf’.
The London P&I Club reminded operators that both the European Union and US are applying trade sanctions against Syria. These include prohibitions on the transport of crude oil and petroleum products from Syria, as well as restrictions on Syria’s oil and gas and electricity generating industries amongst a number of other measures.
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