Buildup of Russian diesel on tanker ships hits pre-pandemic highs – Bloomberg

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Around 6.2 million barrels of the fuel has been accumulating in floating storage, according to the outlet

The volume of Russian diesel in floating storage at sea hit the highest levels since at least 2017 this month, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing data from energy analytics firm Kpler.

In the ten days to March 17, an average of 6.2 million barrels of Russian diesel was held on tankers, the outlet said. It represents the largest quantity of diesel in floating storage in several years, and exceeds levels from early 2023, when the EU banned Russian oil and petroleum products transported by sea, the data showed.

In December 2022, the EU, G7, and allied countries imposed an embargo and a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian crude as part of sanctions over the Ukraine conflict. Similar restrictions were introduced last February for exports of petroleum products.

The latest stockpiling has also exceeded the buildup seen in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit global fuel demand, the article said.  

The volume of diesel in floating storage is high by historical standards, and it is not clear what caused the glut, the outlet noted, suggesting that stricter enforcement of US sanctions on Russia’s oil exports could be one reason.

The US and its allies have stepped up sanctions on Russian crude in recent months, blacklisting a number of intermediaries and individual vessels, including some run by Russia’s state-owned tanker company Sovcomflot.

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