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Rare Ship-to-Ship Transfers Keep Oil Moving From Russia to China

  • ESPO oil from Kozmino transfered from tankers off South Korea
  • Financial sanctions have reduced availability of oil vessels
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A logistically risky and costly transfer of crude between tankers at sea highlights the steps at least one Chinese buyer is willing to take to ensure the smooth flow of oil from eastern Russia to Asia.

Buyers are using creative ways to maintain flows as more shipowners shun Russian oil due to the potential fallout from financial sanctions, according to shipbrokers. Small vessels are being used to shuttle between Russia’s Kozmino port and the waters off Yeosu in South Korea, where cargoes undergo ship-to-ship transfer to supertankers for the next leg of the journey to China.