• 4 minutes Oil Price Editorial: Beware Of Saudi Oil Tanker Sabotage Stories
  • 6 minutes UAE says four vessels subjected to 'sabotage' near Fujairah port
  • 9 minutes Why is Strait of Hormuz the World's Most Important Oil Artery
  • 13 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 3 hours California's Oil Industry Collapses Despite Shale Boom
  • 4 hours Knock-Knock: Aircraft Carrier Seen As Barometer Of Tensions With Iran
  • 9 hours The Consequences: Full-Blown Trade War Will Push World Towards Recession
  • 8 hours IMO2020 To scrub or not to scrub
  • 4 hours UK Needs New Wind Turbines
  • 3 hours Will Canada drop Liberals, vote in Conservatives?
  • 16 mins Shale to be profitable in 2019!!!
  • 10 hours Did Saudi Arabia pull a "Jussie Smollett" and fake an attack on themselves to justify indiscriminate bombing on Yemen city population ?
  • 11 hours Greenpeace Blocks BP HQ
  • 12 hours California Threatens Ban on ICE Cars
  • 12 hours Global Warming Making The Rich Richer
  • 6 hours Australian Voters Reject 'Climate Change' Politicians
  • 4 hours methanol fuel cells
  • 5 hours Apartheid Is Still There: Post-apartheid South Africa Is World’s Most Unequal Country
  • 6 hours Wonders of Shale- Gas,bringing investments and jobs to the US
Alt Text

Bearish EIA Report Keeps Oil Prices Down

Oil prices got a bearish…

Alt Text

Can The Bull Run In Oil Markets Continue?

The market is currently trading…

Alt Text

Canada’s Pipeline Crisis Isn’t All Bad For Investors

Canadian drillers that find themselves…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

More Info

Trending Discussions

North Korean Oil Smugglers Elude U.S. Military

North Korea is still receiving crude oil shipments despite the military presence of a U.S.-led coalition deployed to ensure UN sanctions against Pyongyang are being enforced. This was revealed in a top secret report, NBC News reports, citing U.S. government officials familiar with the document.

Under the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions regarding oil sales to North Korea from December 2017, North Korea is allowed to import a maximum aggregate amount of 500,000 barrels of all refined oil products for 12 months beginning on January 1, 2018. The sanctions also introduced a limit of 4 million barrels—or 525,000 tons—per a twelve-month period as of 22 December 2017 for the supply, sale, or transfer of crude oil to North Korea.

However, according to the report, more oil is going into the country after ship-to-ship transfers at sea. After the deployment of the military vessels in the area, however, the North Koreans have changed tactics, conducting the transfers further out at sea, sometimes in foreign territorial waters. Warships and surveillance aircraft were deployed near the Korean Peninsula in September, but since the aircraft has a certain range it can’t exceed, moving the tankers further into the sea has worked to avoid detection.

Another tactic employed by the North Koreans is using small boats to transfer oil from vessel to vessel. Smaller boats, NBC News notes, are harder to detect by the surveillance gear. In other words, despite the military efforts of the United States and its partners in the coalition, it seems that the Pyongyang regime is still getting more oil than the limit agreed under the UN sanctions.

Earlier this year, in a report to the UN, Washington said North Korea received at least 759,793 barrels of oil products between January 1 and May 30, well above the 500,000-barrel annual quota. The supplies were being made via ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers that have called in port at least 89 times, the United States said in July. The United States also accused China and Russia of continuing to sell oil to North Korea.

At the time, Moscow and Beijing both rebuffed the U.S. claim they were helping Pyongyang to skirt UN sanctions, effectively blocking the United States’ effort to cut all supplies of oil and oil products to North Korea. Related: Why Iran’s Positive OPEC Spin Won’t Last

One Russian company is now facing bankruptcy because the U.S. sanctioned it on allegations of shipping crude to North Korea. The U.S. Treasury blacklisted six vessels from Gudzon Shipping’s fleet, accusing it of participating in ship-to-ship transfers of oil for North Korea. These vessels have been stranded in South Korea for a month now because the sanctions apparently cover bunkering fuel and the port authorities have refused to fuel all vessels but one, which has left for home.

So, it seems that despite Washington’s best efforts, North Korea is getting enough oil to keep going. Things may begin to change but slowly, the NBC sources said. Already the presence of the coalition in the East China Sea has prevented 30 ship-to-ship transfers since October last year.

"We've increased pressure and have been collecting information on these illicit transfers and then feeding them back to our interagency partners for financial, law enforcement and diplomatic action," one of the sources said.

It’s evident the U.S. will not release its stranglehold on North Korea even though President Trump said in a tweet following the release of the NBC report that work is being done on the diplomatic front as well in the spirit of mutual benefit.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News