Russian-Owned SCF Tankers Turn Away From Canadian Destinations | world news

By Marianna Parraga and Laura Sanicola

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Two tankers owned and managed by Russia’s largest shipping and cargo company, Sovcomflot, which was blacklisted by the United States last week as part of sanctions against Russia, are diverted from their Canadian destinations, according to tracking data and marine sources.

The tankers are the first Russian-owned tankers to change course after Canada this week stepped up pressure on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine by closing ports to Russian-owned vessels and barring them from access Canadian waters.

The Liberian-flagged tanker SCF Neva carrying crude oil changed course Thursday from the Canadian port of Saint John and is now heading for the Caribbean, sources and ship data said.

The vessel loaded crude oil at the Colombian port of Mamonal in mid-February. After stopping at an oil storage terminal in Saint-Eustache, it was to continue to the port of Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.

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A Suncor-chartered refined products tanker, SCF Ussuri, slowed Thursday and is currently floating offshore after diverting from its destination in Montreal, Canada, according to ship data and sources.

The ship loaded in New York on February 24 and was scheduled to arrive in Montreal on March 1.

“It’s incredibly confusing to know where these ships are going, whether or not they’ll be received, and whether ports will accept them,” said Dan Yergin, vice president of energy research and consulting at IHS Markit.

Yergin added that as countries impose formal and informal restrictions on Russian ships, many could be redirected to Asia.

The Biden administration plans to follow Canada in barring Russian vessels from US ports, a government official said Wednesday.

As the SCF Ussuri loaded refined products on the East Coast of the United States, it cannot return to the United States without violating the Jones Act.

Russian-flagged ships make up a very small percentage of US traffic, but banning Russian cargo from the US would have a considerably bigger impact, the source said. It was unclear whether the administration was seriously considering this more drastic measure.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston and Laura Sanicola in Washington; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Lisa Shumaker)

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