Washington sanctions UAE firm over Russian oil shipments

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The US Treasury Department has blocked the bulk carriers and oil tankers of an Abu-Dhabi-based firm

Washington has imposed sanctions on a company registered in the United Arab Emirates for its alleged oil deals with Russia, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on its website on Thursday.

OFAC has added the Abu-Dhabi based shipping company Hennesea Holdings Limited and its 17 Liberian-flagged bulk carriers and oil tankers to a blacklist over alleged violations of the G7/EU price cap on Russian oil.

According to the Treasury Department, Hennesea Holdings owns ships that supposedly participated in the transportation of crude originating from Russia at a price above the $60 per barrel ceiling. OFAC claimed that Hennesea ships repeatedly made calls to Russian ports.

While banning commercial contracts or any transactions involving the sanctioned ships, the US authorities have published a general license authorizing certain operations with the vessels until April 17.

These operations include the “safe docking and anchoring in port of any vessels in which any person or entity” listed in the license “has a property interest,” as well as the “preservation of the health or safety of the crew of any of the blocked vessels or emergency repairs” of the sanctioned tankers.

The price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports was introduced by the EU and G7 countries in December 2022, and was followed by similar restrictions on exports of Russian petroleum products. It bans Western firms from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased at or below $60 per barrel, which is below the current market price.

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