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Shadow Fleet Tanker Destined To Carry Sanctioned Russian Oil Causes Collision

In what can only be described as an I-told-you-so moment, a shadow fleet oil tanker carrying sanctioned Russian crude oil was involved in a collision at sea near Denmark, the Danish Maritime Authority said in a Tuesday statement.

15-year-old Andromeda Star, an oil tanker set bound for Russia to load Russian Urals crude oil at the Primorsk port, had the capacity to carry 700,000 barrels of crude oil. The tanker was not carrying oil at the time of the collision.

Unlike other countries, Denmark does allow all vessels bound for Russia to traverse its waters despite Western Sanctions. The Danish Straits are a vital part of the maritime trade routes between the Baltic Sea and the North Atlantic and thus are part of the freedom of navigation treaty.

This means that even dark fleet vessels carrying sanctioned Russian crude oil—or on its way to picking up Russian sanctioned crude oil—can freely traverse the Danish Straits.

In late 2022, this dark or shadow fleet expanded to include vessels not just carrying sanctioned Iranian and Venezuelan crude oil, but Russian oil as well after the EU and G7 banned maritime transportation services for Russian crude oil that was trading above the $60 price cap.

Shadow vessels operate outside the laws of the traditional maritime industry, often lack traditional—or any—insurance to protect against loss, and use risky methods of concealment to hide their location and activities by turning off transponders.

An October 2023 Politico article referring to Russia’s shadow fleet as “a disaster waiting to happen.” It turns out they were right.

The Andromeda Star is shrouded in mystery, with undisclosed owners, managed by a company in India without a registered phone number, and not insured through the International Group of P&I Clubs—the industry standard.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Steven Conn on March 19 2024 said:
    A desperate attempt to generate a pretext in order to try and stop Russian oil exports which have bypassed Western sanctions. The exaggeration and alarmism are obvious.

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