This is what a Dark Fleet tanker looks like Ship’s crew

(Bloomberg) –

A giant oil tanker being held in China has failed its safety inspection on more than 20 counts, highlighting the dangers posed by a rapidly expanding fleet of aging ships on the world’s seas.

The ship, currently named titanium After being renamed seven times, is managed by a company whose address is a post box in the Seychelles. While the ship’s owners are difficult to trace, it’s also not clear what insurance Titan has taken out.

Poor documentation, safety flaws and unclear backgrounds are all too typical of so-called dark fleet tankers, which have proliferated since Russia invaded Ukraine. G7 sanctions on Russian oil, as well as existing sanctions on Iranian and Venezuelan cargoes, have led to a booming trade in these old ships, which operate outside of Western oversight.

The number of detained tankers has risen over the past year amid mounting security concerns, with more vessels detained in Asian ports in April than any other month since at least January 2020. A port in China has stepped up security checks in recent weeks, suggesting a Suggesting Potential There’s a shift in attitudes towards the aging ships that have helped deliver oodles of Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan oil to the country.

Indeed, the titanium – which was built 20 years ago – was stopped in the northeastern port of Qingdao, not because it had transported some 2 million barrels of oil from Iran, but because of the potential danger it posed.

China and other sea states got a glimpse of these risks earlier this month. About 10 days after it left the coast of the country, another ship of the dark fleet, the Pablo, exploded off the coast of Malaysia. Although the cause of the explosion is unclear, it is believed that fumes from the remains of the oil cargo may have played a role.

Under Titans 23 deficiencies included oil build-up in the engine room and fire safety issues with the inert gas system – the very equipment that helps prevent fumes from exploding. After being detained on April 29, the ship was released on May 2 and was last seen sailing near Taiwan.

since 2019, titanium has transported a number of Iranian crude oil shipments, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. According to United Against Nuclear Iran, which tracks the country’s crude oil exports, the ship was carrying about 16 million barrels of Iranian oil in 2022.

Seapalm Shipping Ltd. is listed as her manager in several maritime databases, with no other current owners and only the Seychelles PO Box and a generic email address for contact details. A message to the email address did not receive an immediate response.

The titanium was last known to fly under the flag of Cameroon, the only country classified as a “high-risk country” by the Paris MoU, an organization that ensures safe shipping. Of the 211 ships of various types that Clarkson Research Services sees flying the country’s flag, only seven are less than 10 years old. The youngest large oil tanker is 19 years old.

Unlike the regular merchant fleet, dark tankers often lack industry-standard insurance. titanium is not registered with any member of the International Group of P&I Clubs that offers such insurance coverage.

–With support from Alaric Nightingale.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

Related Articles

Back to top button

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Don't miss new updates on your email