Turkey halts oil not subject to Russian sanctions, raising concerns over global energy market supply

Turkey halts oil not subject to Russian sanctions, raising concerns over global energy market supply

Cargo ships and ships pass through the Bosphorus Strait, a body of water connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Mediterranean Sea via Istanbul, Turkey. Above, the Russian-flagged tanker Volga River Taganrog passes south through the Bosphorus Strait in October 2022.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Tankers full of Kazakh oil are mired in delays in the Bosphorus Strait due to Turkey’s new proof of insurance measures for ships carrying Russian oil now subject to EU sanctions and caps prices of G7 countries.

Kazakh oil passes by pipeline through Russia and is loaded onto tankers at the port of Novorossiysk. Officials can trace the origin of the oil on the bill of lading.

“It appears that all but one of the roughly 20 loaded tankers waiting to cross the strait are carrying oil of Kazakh origin,” a price cap official told CNBC. “These shipments would not be subject to the price cap under any scenario, and there should be no change in the status of their insurance against Kazakh shipments over the previous weeks or months,” the official said. granted anonymity due to sensitive nature. geopolitical issues.

Based on the number of ships, more than 20 million barrels of oil worth $1.2 billion are stuck.

New Turkish insurance rules on tankers carrying Russian crude have slowed the movement of tankers off Turkey’s coast and between Russian Black Sea and Mediterranean ports since earlier this week, when the peak in prices and sanctions entered into force for the first time.

If the delays increase, refiners will look for alternative sources of supply in other countries or they will reduce their operating capacity because they do not have enough oil, which has an impact on the supply of gasoline and oil. diesel,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.

“If this continues for another week, we’ll start to see an impact in the oil market,” Lipow said.

Kazah’s oil buyers include Asia, Europe and some quantities on the East Coast of the United States.

Tanker wait times increase

VesselsValue tells CNBC that the average tanker wait in the Bosphorus has increased by around 47% compared to last week, when there were 14 vessels with an average wait time of 64 hours and a capacity of combined tonnage of 1.46 million tons.

Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said in a statement Thursday that wait times are typical. “The waiting time in the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles is six days for now. For the winter season, it is a normal wait; last year, the wait in the strait in December was d ‘about 14 days.’

MarineTraffic monitors the number of tankers waiting in the Bosphorus. The company, which uses AIS vessel tracking, says the number of tankers waiting is now at 40 and has more than doubled in recent days.

“We can see a growing list of crude and chemical tankers waiting to cross the Bosphorus on either side, with a variety of AIS destinations reported, including mainly Turkey and Russia, but also Ukraine, Georgia, the ‘Italy,” said Nikos Pothitakis, spokesman for Maritime Traffic. “The vessels in question are primarily flagged from the Russian, Greek, Liberian and Marshall Islands registers.”

On Wednesday, US Assistant Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal to discuss the implementation of the Russian maritime oil price cap. Adeyemo stressed that the price cap regime only applies to oil of Russian origin and does not require additional checks on vessels crossing Turkish territorial waters, according to a statement from the Treasury. The two officials said a simple compliance regime by Turkey to allow maritime oil to transit through the Turkish Strait would help keep global energy markets well supplied.

“The price cap policy does not require ships to seek unique insurance coverages for each individual voyage, as required by the Turkish rule,” the price cap official told CNBC. “These disruptions are the result of the Turkish regime, not the price cap policy.”

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