Rise in “Ghost” Tankers Delivering Russian Oil to Asia

Someone is buying up old decrepit tankers, turning off any tracking electronics, and pushing huge amounts of Russian oil into Asia.

Industry insiders estimate the size of that “shadow” fleet at roughly 600 vessels, or about 10% of the global number of large tankers. And numbers continue to climb. …an estimated 25 to 35 vessels are being sold per month into the shadow fleet, according to another senior executive at an oil trading firm. Global Witness, a nonprofit, estimates that a quarter of oil tanker sales between late February 2022 and January this year involved unknown buyers, roughly double the proportion the previous year.

While allegedly hard to identify by modern standards, at the same time the age of the vessel and the fact that it is dedicated to carrying Russian oil makes it classically simple to find, track and… disrupt or disable.

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