A quarter of old aframax tankers deployed in sanctioned trades: report

A quarter of aframax tankers that were more than 20 years old were being deployed in Venezuelan and Iranian trades, reports Lloyd’s List, citing analysis from shipbroking firm Braemar ACM. In its weekly report Braemar said that the vessels were thought to be involved in the sanctioned shipments because they did not have their AIS turned on.

Lloyd’s List said that the analysis popularity of older tankers for sanctioned trading over the past two years was one explanation for there being so few that have been removed from the fleet for either floating storage or scrapping.

Braemar ACM counted 856 very large crude carriers, 616 suezmax tankers or long range three vessels, and 693 uncoated and 385 LR2 aframax ships in the trading fleet. Of the 78 old aframaxes, only five of the 20-plus age group were subject to primary or secondary US sanctions, said Braemar.

“But international trades subject to US sanctions — primarily loading Iranian and Venezuelan cargoes — seem to offer base-load employment for a quarter of the fleet,” the report said, while accepting that “this is of course partly a conjecture, given that a majority of them keep their AIS turned off for extended periods time, but the occasional ‘visible’ international voyages and their absence on other trades suggest this group remains mainly tied up in these sanctioned trades.”