A secretive fleet of ships is poised to move Russian oil under the radar after EU sanctions kick in

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Asian countries have been buying more Russian oil.

  • A secret fleet of Russian ships could be assembled to help the Kremlin avoid sanctions, Bloomberg reported. 
  • The report says a fleet is being built to keep Russian flows on the market. 
  • Ensuing sanctions would also increase ship-to-ship transfers, the report says. 

A growing fleet of ships could help Russia circumvent forthcoming sanctions targeting crude oil flows, according to a report from Bloomberg. 

The report says that as the EU sanctions loom, which ban insurance on tankers carrying Russian oil, the Kremlin will be able to keep its oil on the market thanks to help from organizations still willing to do business with Moscow. Keeping Russian oil flowing will require a complex network, the report said. 

Tanker owners cited by Bloomberg say that recent data examining the sale of vessels and large oil tankers give credence to the notion that such a fleet is being amassed, which will also be necessary to keep Russian oil flowing. 

EU sanctions are set to take hold on December 5, while the US works on capping Russian oil prices. Once the sanctions kick in, a large part of the Russian market for crude will largely be off the table due to difficulties navigating European seas, Bloomberg says, and Asia will remain a top destination for Russian crude. 

Also at the Kremlin’s disposal and to it’s benefit will be ship-to-ship transfers, a practice which will enable Russia to disguise where it’s crude oil originated from. 

Read the original article on Business Insider