Tankers Risk Losing Insurance Cover Over Dark STS Oil Transfers
Maritime insurer West has warned tanker owners they risk losing cover if they carry out ship-to-ship oil transfers beyond safe and sheltered waters. The P&I insurer issued updated guidelines this week about STS operations as a new offshore logistics network emerges to deal with changing nature of the Russian trade. New STS sites have emerged in the Atlantic close to the Azores and off Gibraltar that have been linked to so-called dark trades in sanctioned cargoes. Aframaxes carry most Russian crude, but a ban imposed by Europe on seaborne Russian imports from 5 December means that oil is travelling longer distances to Asian markets, notably India and China.