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Reuters: Russia will have enough tankers to bypass the G7 oil price ceiling

21 October 2022

Belogoryev Alexey M. Research and Development Director, Director of the Center for Energy strategic analysis and forecasting

Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Business FM radio station about whether Russian companies will be able to cope with the Western countries’ ban on chartering and insuring tankers for the transportation of Russian oil and oil products, sold at prices above the “marginal":

“There are a number of studies that show that Russian companies are faced with a rather serious shortage of tankers, and there are only two solutions to refusing to charter European countries: the first is to build up their own fleet, but this is a rather slow path. It is possible to buy tankers on the market, especially those close to decommissioning, but this cannot be done quickly, especially since if you buy a lot at once, prices will skyrocket. The second is the “shadow fleet”. The third option, which has been much talked about, that China and India will help us, is either unlikely due to the fact that these tankers are simply not suitable for our ports, or, like India, there are not enough of them, or Chinese companies will simply be afraid provide such tankers. The “Shadow Fleet” is quite large in the world, it is diverse in jurisdiction, but these are also very large tankers, one of the problems of Russian ports is that not every tanker can enter them. And the "shadow fleet" will also still be afraid to get involved with secondary US and EU sanctions. We can agree that, coupled with an increase in Russia's own capacities, such a fleet will solve the problem, but not quickly, that is, it is not weeks, not months, most likely, six months or a year. At the same time, a lot will depend on where the oil will be delivered, that is, if we are talking about increasing supplies to China and Turkey, nearby markets with a short transport arm, then a tanker will be needed there much less than, say, for deliveries to India".

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