US authorities make checks on oil tanker arrived from Russia

US authorities have prevented a tanker from unloading in New Orleans what they said Russian oil, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday June 28th.

The vessel was later identified on one site as being the Daytona (IMO 9528043)

US authorities confirmed to Reuters that they had stopped an oil tanker traveling from Russia to New Orleans to check whether the product it was carrying was Russian in origin.

The Vitol-chartered vessel was shipping intermediate oil products, including vacuum gasoil and fuel oil, from Russia’s Taman port to New Orleans last week, according to a trading source and shipping data.

“I can confirm on the record that this cargo is not Russian origin,” a spokesperson from Vitol told Reuters.

The products were due to reach a Valero refinery in the New Orleans region, said Reuters, citing two unnamed sources. The US sanctions do not include Kazakh oil products, which travel on Russian pipelines.

Vitol said it was complying with sanctions and would not enter into any new Russian crude and product transactions. It said that it had ceased trading Russian origin crude oil and product, unless directed otherwise.

The cargo was stopped by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to confirm the product on board was not Russian in origin, said Reuters, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, adding that the shipment was of Kazakh oil products.

The ship had planned to arrive on Sunday but was still being checked out by the CBP.

The tanker is owned by Greece’s TMS Tankers and was chartered by Swiss commodities trader Vitol. The Taman peninsula ships Russian and Kazakh oil products.

Livia Gallarati, an oil markets analyst at Energy Aspects, told the WSJ that “I find it very surprising that, given the US import ban, anyone would be doing this. It could be Kazakh, although Kazakh exports of oil products to international markets are minimal.”

2011-built, Malta-flagged, 61,332 gt Daytona is owned by Ariodante Owning Co Ltd care of manager TMS Tankers Ltd of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Ariodante Owning Co Ltd. As of June 29th it was at anchor at the port of New Orleans, having arrived there on June 27th.