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Ghana has just received its first cargo of crude from Russia in at least four years after an oil tanker that had waited for permission to dock for six weeks was cleared to discharge the oil this weekend, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg showed on Monday.
The Theseus crude tanker was in the Gulf of Guinea on Monday, according to data from MarineTraffic.
The tanker loaded with what is believed to be Russian crude oil departed from Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk at the end of January. It arrived close to Ghana’s coasts at the end of February, but it had been anchored off the shore waiting for permission to dock and discharge the cargo.
The 600,000 barrels of crude that the tanker carried from Novorossiysk to Ghana were the first observed cargo from Russia to the African country in at least four years, according to Bloomberg.
The six-week wait was prompted by national security concerns, sources said. One of the people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that Ghana had allowed the tanker to dock after claims that the crude oil was from Kazakhstan. But according to data from tanker data firms and a port agent for Novorossiysk, the tanker was shipping Russian crude.
The buyer of the cargo, believed to be Platon Gas Oil Ghana Ltd, is not expected to process the crude for at least six months, and will store the oil in storage tanks it has leased from the Tema oil refinery, where the cargo was delivered this weekend, according to local energy experts.
Apart from Asia, Russia has turned to Africa to sell more of its crude oil, after the EU embargoes on seaborne imports of Russia’s oil and fuels.
Ghana in West Africa could be a rare occurrence for Russian oil purchases, but countries in North Africa have become key export outlets of Russia’s diesel and other petroleum products after the EU ban on imports of Russian fuels took effect in early February.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.