Vitol exports Turkmen crude oil using vessels under US sanctions

One of the world's largest oil traders, Vitol, running after the profit, is ready to charter vessels, which are under US sanctions for the delivery of petroleum products to Syria and the Crimea.

Report informs, that Vitol signed a contract for the export of crude oil with ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company) from the oilfield being developed by the ENOC subsidiary, Dragon Oil on the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea.


Initially, this crude oil was planned to be exported by the vessels belong to the Russian shipping company VF Tanker and the Turkmen Maritime Shipping Company.


However, after some time, Vitol decided to reduce transportation costs and chartered tankers Mekhanik Voronkov (IMO 886719, built in 1971) and Grigoriy Bugrov (IMO 8848628, built in 1974).


Mekhanik Voronkov is now approaching Aladja port in Turkmenistan for loading of crude oil.


Besides the fact that these vessels are already more than 45 years old and are dangerous to the Caspian Sea ecology, they are owned and operated by the company “Trans-Flot JSC” from Samara, Russia, which is on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list for organizing the supply of petroleum products to Syria and the Crimea.


In addition, Vitol is negotiating charter for two additional vessels that are also under US sanctions: Stalingrad (IMO 9690212) and Marshal Tukhachevsky (IMO 9035541).


It only remains to be surprised how Vitol, which has multi-billion operations in US dollars and having a serious business in the United States, is ready to put itself (just for the short-term profit) at risk of being sanctioned by US authorities.  


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