By Arathy Somasekhar
HOUSTON (Reuters) – At least 10 ships carrying Russia-linked shipments of crude and refined products approached the United States on Wednesday as suppliers rushed to deliver before the US government’s deadline to end Russian energy purchases, merchant data and Refinitiv . Eikon showed.
The United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, this month banned imports of Russian energy products over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation.” Washington’s ban gives importers until April 22 to unload cargoes covered by pre-ban contracts.
According to Refinitiv data, at least one tanker carrying fuel oil has been diverted to the United States, and at least two others stopped at Russian terminals awaiting unloading in US ports, according to Refinitiv data, one since March 7.
and product arrivals from Russia are tentatively forecast at 18 million barrels, or an average of 597,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month, energy strategist Clay Seigle said, citing data from Vortexa. That compares to an average of 672,000 bpd last year, according to US government data.
“U.S. importers must consider not only the legal risk, but also the reputational risk for dealing in sanctioned or stigmatized oil products,” Seigle added.
Oil tanker Elli, which was en route to the United States after docking in a Russian port, is now anchored near Ceuta on Morocco’s northern coast. Beijing Spirit, which was carrying Russian crude, was en route to the United States, diverted to France, and now indicates a March 26 arrival in Philadelphia, Refinitiv showed.
Halkidon Shipping Corp, which operates the Elli, said the vessel had been “ordered by its charterers to remain and await orders for Gibraltar while en route from Novorossiisk, Russia, to the US Gulf Coast.”
The tanker Confidence, which was docked in a Russian port and chartered by the US refinery Phillips 66 (NYSE:), anchored near New York Harbor on Wednesday with a cargo of vacuum gas oil. Confidence is not hampered by sanctions, an official at ship manager Dynacom Tanker said on Wednesday.
“If it does (in the future), it certainly won’t sail to the United States,” the Dynacom official said on condition of anonymity.
The Minerva Clara, chartered by BP (NYSE:) and carrying fuel oil, has been at anchor off the Louisiana coast since last week. Minerva Clara’s management company declined to comment, while Beijing Spirit’s management company did not respond to a request for comment.
SEGREGATION OF OIL MIXTURES
US oil refinery PBF Energy (NYSE:) is expected to receive approximately 1 million barrels of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) Blend crude oil in Delaware City with a Russian Certificate of Origin and loaded in Russia, according to a shipping document issued by Reuters and a known source. seen with the case.
PBF did not respond to a request for comment.
The US ban on imports from Russia does not prohibit trade in crude CPC, the US Treasury Department said last week. In an advisory, it said the CPC can separate crude oil of Russian origin for marketing and separately load non-Russian oils.
CPC Blend is primarily composed of oil from Kazakhstan which is often blended with Russian crude oil and loaded at the Russian port of Novorossiisk on the Black Sea.
A Ukrainian official on Tuesday called on Western oil companies to boycott Russian ports and oil entirely, and asked US-based Chevron (NYSE:), which ships oil from Kazakhstan’s oil fields through the CPC, to halt the shipments.
Chevron said it complies with US laws and that its share of the oil put into the pipeline has been certified as originating in Kazakhstan. It did not comment on the request to halt the shipments in the Russian port.
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