Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeInternational5 Million Barrels of Russian Oil Bound for India Go Missing

5 Million Barrels of Russian Oil Bound for India Go Missing

In a curious turn of events, approximately five million barrels of Russian crude oil destined for India have mysteriously vanished. The tankers, laden with Russia’s Sokol grade crude, were expected to dock over the past four weeks but remain adrift, seemingly aimless in the ocean, according to a Bloomberg report.

The situation raises questions, particularly in light of recent sanctions. These sanctions, imposed by G7 nations, target sellers moving Russian crude above the $60 price cap, potentially providing some context to this maritime enigma. Adding to the complexity, the US Treasury has sanctioned eight ships since October involved in these crude cargoes, with six being the property of Russia’s Sovcomflot PJSC.

One of these vessels was en route to Vadinar, a port in India, but has been stationary near Sri Lanka since November 16. In a striking coincidence, two more ships from Sovcomflot, also heading to Vadinar, have recently joined the first, all in a state of idle suspension. Similarly, three additional ships aimed for the Paradip port in eastern India have yet to arrive, further deepening the mystery.

This development coincides with a notable uptick in Russia’s oil exports, which reached a five-month high in the week leading up to December 10, with daily exports climbing to 3.76 million barrels. This surge comes as OPEC+ remains committed to slashing crude production to stabilize fluctuating prices. The consortium’s current strategy includes a reduction of 2.2 million barrels per day through the first quarter of 2024, with Russia contributing to this cutback.

Meanwhile, global oil prices have seen a recent dip amidst booming US production and an unpredictable demand landscape. This Wednesday, West Texas Intermediate crude saw a modest rise to $75.18 per barrel, and Brent crude ascended to $80.46 per barrel.

As the oil market continues to navigate these turbulent waters, the case of the missing Russian crude bound for India adds a layer of intrigue. Industry observers and market participants alike will be keenly watching for any developments that might unravel this maritime mystery.

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