Sovcomflot tankers head for Bahamas, and US bans Russian oil

At least three tankers controlled by Russia-based Sovcomflot have re-routed to the Bahamas, according to vessel tracking data. The tankers had been unable to deliver their cargoes due to Western sanctions.

The state-owned marine business was blacklisted by the US in late February because of the invasion of Ukraine. The UK and Canada have also banned vessels flagged, operated or owned by Russia from docking at their ports.

Sovcomflot  tankers SCF Don (IMO 9385142), SCF Neva (IMO 9333400)and SCF Ussuri (IMO 9384306) had by last weekend changed their destination to the Bahamas, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data, cited by Reuters.

It showed that some of the vessels have begun discharging off the Caribbean nation through ship-to-ship transfers – a move by some receiving companies to avoid direct dealings with Russia-related assets at terminals, an insurance industry source said.

Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell on Monday said the country has not made a formal decision over sanctions.

“It’s an evolving story. I will brief the parliamentary group this evening and will brief the Cabinet in the morning,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Nassau.

Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder declined to comment.

Yesterday March 8th the US confirmed a complete US ban on Russian oil, gas and coal imports. “We will not be part of subsidising Putin’s war,” President Biden said.

Despite mounting fears of rising gas prices, the move has widespread bipartisan political support in the US.

At the same time the UK said that it would attempt to wean itself off Russian oil, diesel and gas by the end of 2022. The UK is less reliant on Russian fossil fuels than many European countries, but Russian supplies still make up 8% of overall imports into the UK, and 18% of UK diesel comes from Russia.

Mainland Europe, particularly Germany, is considerably more dependent on Russian energy, and with LNG in particular there is no obvious alternative source. However, the EU said that it would “aim” to cut its demand by two-thirds by the end of the year.

2009-built, Liberia-flagged, 29,967 gt SCF Don is owned by Super Shipping Corp care of SCF Management Services of St Petersburg, Russia. As of March 8th it was entered with Skuld (Business Unit Skuld Oslo 2) on behalf of Super Shipping Corp.

2006-built, Liberia-flagged, 29,902 gt SCF Neva is owned by Kenjimi Transports Inc care of SCF Management Services Ltd of St Petersburg, Russia. It is entered with Skuld (Business Unit Skuld Oslo 2) on behalf of Kenjimi Transports Inc.  As of March 5th the SCF Neva was approaching Freeport, Bahamas, scheduled arrival time of March 4th.

2009-built, Liberia-flagged, 29,967 gt SCF Ussuri is owned by Palomar Transport SA care of SCF Management Services Ltd of St Petersburg, Russia. It is entered with Skuld (Business Unit Skuld Oslo 2) on behalf of Palomar Transport SA.

As of March 5th the SCF Ussuri was off Nova Scotia, en route from New York to Freeport, Bahamas, ETA March 10th.