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US slaps new sanctions over Russian oil price cap breach

by Martin Fornusek January 18, 2024 6:40 PM 2 min read
The Russian oil tanker Crius waits for a cargo of oil in Ceuta, Spain, on March 5, 2023. (Antonio Sempere/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on Jan. 18 sanctions against the shipping company Hennesea Holdings Limited for violating the $60 per barrel price cap on Russian crude.

This comes as another case of Washington slapping sanctions against the price cap violators. The Group of Seven (G7) countries vowed to enforce the measure after Russia managed to ship out much of its crude above $ 60 per barrel by using a "ghost fleet" of mostly uninsured tankers.

The OFAC identified the United Arab Emirates-based Hennesea as the ultimate owner of 18 vessels, including the HS Atlantica, that have transported Russian crude above the price cap.

Hennesea was established in late 2022, and shortly before the cap went into effect in that year's December, it acquired older tankers that ship Russian crude oil and petroleum products, the OFAC said. According to the Treasury's statement, the company's tankers have repeatedly conducted port calls in Russian ports.

The restrictions against the company include freezing property and a ban on any transactions on U.S. soil.

"Today's actions once again demonstrate that anyone who violates the price cap will face the consequences," said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.

"No one should doubt our coalition's commitment to stopping those who help the Kremlin."

The U.S. first sanctioned the violators of the price cap in October 2023, targeting two companies and two of their tankers. Several other entities and vessels have been sanctioned over cap violations since.

The EU also joined the pressure, as its 12th sanctions package included measures to tighten controls over the price cap.

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