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Aerial photo of an oil tanker at anchor. Stock Photo: Nickeo23/Shutterstock

Aerial photo of an oil tanker at anchor. Stock Photo: Nickeo23/Shutterstock

Sanctioned Tanker Heads to Texas for Unloading

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October 18, 2023

By Sabrina Valle and Timothy Gardner

HOUSTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – An oil tanker that the U.S. government imposed sanctions on for recently carrying Russian oil above the Western price cap is proceeding to the Baytown refinery in Texas for unloading, Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday.

Exxon, the current charterer of the Yasa Golden Bosphorus, was not targeted by the sanctions last week since the oil producer chartered the tanker months after it had carried and offloaded Russian oil, a price cap coalition official after the U.S. imposed the sanctions on the tanker.

The unloading by Exxon has been authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the company said in a statement. The deliveries are certified products of Canadian origin, according to Exxon.

US Imposes First Sanctions Over Russia Oil Cap as Impact Fades

The U.S. sanctions are an effort to close loopholes in the mechanism designed to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine. Last year, Group of Seven (G7) countries and Australia imposed a price cap of $60 per barrel on Russia’s seaborne oil exports seeking to reduce Moscow’s revenues from the shipments while ensuring oil flows to global markets.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration last week placed sanctions on Turkey-based Ice Pearl Navigation SA, owner of the Yasa Golden Bosphorus, which the Treasury said carried Russian ESPO crude priced above $80 a barrel after the cap took effect in December last year.

U.S. service providers would not be at risk of sanctions if they had been provided false or misleading information by others in the shipping chain about the price of Russian oil, said a price cap coalition official on condition of anonymity. 

The Treasury did not immediately respond to questions about the vessel offloading and whether there was misleading information in the documentation provided to Exxon.

Turkey’s Yasa Holding, operator of the Yasa Golden Bosphorus, said last week it had necessary documentation from major London insurers for it to carry Russian origin cargoes but that it had been company policy for more than a year to not carry Russian crude.

Yasa had said the vessel is currently under time-charter for three to five months with Exxon.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Jamie Freed)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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