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Russia’s Toxic Oil Sends Tanker Rates Into a Frenzy

  • Costs to transport Russian crude to Europe, Asia have soared
  • Many shipowners hold back on risks to enter dangerous zones
A container ship crosses the Bosphorus strait after departing from Russia's Novorossiysk port.

A container ship crosses the Bosphorus strait after departing from Russia's Novorossiysk port.

Photographer: Francisco Seco/AP Photo

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For clues on how toxic Russian oil has become, look no further than the trade for tankers that export it.

It now costs about $3.5 million to hire a tanker to deliver a million barrels to Italy from Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk -- a voyage that should take no longer than a week. That’s a more-than 300% gain from before the invasion of Ukraine began.