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Oil Tanker Traffic Jam Eases After Turkey Reaches Deal With Insurers

The oil tanker traffic jam near the Turkish Straits started to clear on Tuesday after insurers and the Turkish government reached an agreement over a new regulation requiring proof-of-insurance documents.

The Turkish Protection and Indemnity (P&I) cover issue has been resolved, Norwegian vessel insurer Gard said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Following significant engagement between the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) and the Government of Turkey, an agreement has been reached allowing ships carrying crude oil cargoes to continue their voyages through Turkish-controlled waters,” Gard said.

“Members are advised to contact the Club for further information and for the documentation needed for ships carrying crude oil,” said Gard of the club which provides around 90% of the global P&I cover and which will not provide cover for transportation of Russian crude oil if the oil is bought above the $60 per barrel price cap set by the G7 and the EU.

Since December 1, Turkish authorities have requested that all oil tankers passing through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles Strait crossing Turkish territorial waters have proof-of-insurance papers.

The new Turkish regulation has created a traffic jam of a dozen tankers waiting to cross the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, the main waterways linking the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Most of the oil sitting on tankers off Turkey was from Kazakhstan. Many oil tankers had waited for days near the key Turkish straits, waiting for clearance from Turkish authorities, who now demand new proof of insurance cover for tankers as the EU embargo and the EU-G7 price cap on Russian crude came into effect on December 5.

Turkey welcomed the agreement on Tuesday, and its Maritime Authority said that 22 of the 26 crude oil tankers that had waited at the Bosphorus had presented the necessary insurance cover letters, and 19 of them had already transited the Bosphorus Strait.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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