• 2021 January 20 16:42

    U.S. blacklists oil tankers for undermining Venezuela sanctions

    The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington’s sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.

    “Those facilitating the illegitimate Maduro regime’s attempts to circumvent United States sanctions contribute to the corruption that consumes Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a news release. The Treasury said its Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, targeted three individuals, 14 entities and six vessels for their ties to a network attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector. It said the “principal actors” were Alessandro Bazzoni, Francisco D’Agostino and Philipp Apikian, as well as oil trading firms including Elemento Ltd and Swissoil Trading SA.

    Washington first imposed sanctions on PDVSA limiting its oil sales in early 2019, which cut off its main destination for exports, the United States. The measure was followed last year by sanctions on two units of PDVSA’s main trading partner, Russia’s Rosneft, as well as shipping sanctions blacklisting tankers involved in the transportation. The U.S. FBI started probing Elemento and Swissoil last year, along with Mexico-based Libre Abordo and Schlager Business Group, aiming to gather information for Treasury’s inquiry into possible sanctions-busting. Libre Abordo, Schlager and Mexican citizens Joaquin Leal Jimenez, Olga Maria Zepeda and Veronica Esparza, were sanctioned in June.

    Venezuela’s foreign ministry in a statement called the move “a new, desperate aggression against the Venezuelan people by the outgoing government of (U.S. President) Donald Trump.” “Despite these four years of sustained and ruthless aggressions, despite the indolence and disregard for international law, the Venezuelan people and their revolutionary government are still standing today,” the ministry said.

    Libre Abordo, Schlager and Elemento did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Reuters could not immediately reach Swissoil, Bazzoni, Apikian, D’Agostino, Leal, Zepeda or Esparza. Tuesday’s move expands on the sanctions on the Mexico-based individuals and businesses for “operating a sanctions-evasion scheme benefiting the illegitimate Maduro regime and PDVSA.”

    “Today’s action targets additional orchestrators and facilitators with ties to the Mexico network who have conspired with Maduro’s oil minister, Tareck El Aissami Maddah, and indicted money launderer Alex Nain Saab Moran to broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of Venezuelan oil,” the Treasury said. El Aissami and Saab are also under U.S. sanctions. Saab was arrested last year in Cape Verde. The United States accuses Bazzoni and D’Agostino of being “core facilitators” of the network, connecting Swissoil, led by Apikian, and Elemento with PDVSA and Saab.

    “Following Saab’s June 2020 arrest in Cape Verde and OFAC’s designation of Leal, Bazzoni took over the core coordinating role in the ongoing scheme to broker the re-sale of Venezuelan-origin crude oil from PDVSA and charter vessels willing to go to Venezuela to load oil,” the Treasury added. The OFAC is also this time blacklisting Ukraine-based Fides Ship Management and its tanker fleet including vessels Baliar, Balita, Domani and Freedom, as well as tankers Maximo Gorki, owned by Venezuela’s water authority INEA, and Sierra, owned by Russian firm Rustanker. The blacklisted vessels have transported Venezuelan crude since sanctions were imposed on PDVSA in 2019, according to company data and Refinitiv Eikon vessel tracking data. INEA did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Reuters could not immediately reach Fides Ship Management or Rustanker.




2021 March 7

16:14 Vard Marine announces change in Vice President of Ottawa operations
14:27 VOS Singapore delivers MWV Falgout to end client
13:41 USCG concludes monitoring diesel fuel clean-up near Sitka, Alaska
12:53 Seaspan acquires two 15,000 TEU containerships on long-term charters
11:36 Trelleborg acquires leading supplier of composite hoses
10:54 Vard Marine secures a new contract for the design of an amphibious and military sea transport for the Chilean Navy Escotillón IV Program

2021 March 6

18:20 Philly Shipyard begins fabrication on second NSMV
15:08 e5 Lab establishes Marindows Inc.
13:27 New wood-chip carrier for Hokuetsu Corporation delivered
12:31 Saipem and the Norwegian company, Elkem, sign a feasibility study agreement for the decarbonisation business
11:43 TDI-Brooks International, Inc. completes two EBS programs offshore Angola
10:59 Torqeedo and Poseidon announce new, commercial-grade electric drive for passenger ferries.

2021 March 5

18:27 Logimatic signs contract with Hapag-Lloyd for implementation of SERTICA on more than 70 of the largest container vessels
17:39 Ilya Muromets icebreaker to participate in expedition of RF Navy’s Northern Fleet and Russian Geographical Society
17:01 Association of Lithuanian Stevedoring Companies appoints new President
16:37 Keel laying ceremony for ‘Green Jade’ was held at CSBC’s shipyard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
15:44 Throughput of Port Vysotsky LLC in 2M’2021 fell by 2.1% Y-o-Y
15:22 Throughput of Taganrog port in 2M’2021 climbed by 7% Y-o-Y
14:56 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 2M’2021 rose by 70% Y-o-Y
14:47 IAA PortNews' greetings on the International Women's Day!
14:33 Krasnoye Sormovo to invest RUB 250 million in technical upgrading this year
14:15 HHI Group launches “Hydrogen Project” with Saudi Aramco
13:11 Eco-bonus for sustainable transport to and from the Stockholm region via Ports of Stockholm
12:48 Oboronlogistics to take part in preparation of Strategy for Development of Russia’s Shipbuilding Industry
12:32 ICTSI 2020 net income up 1% to US$101.8mln
12:26 Global Ports Investments announces its operational results and publishes its consolidated financial statements for 2020
12:01 EGS extends rail link Rotterdam-Bavaria
11:31 DNV advises PGE Baltica on setup of a joint venture structure to develop, build and operate two offshore wind plants in the Baltic Sea
11:01 LR completes purchase of C-MAP Commercial from Navico Group
10:45 Shipping company and chief officer convicted for dumping garbage in Great Barrier Reef
10:44 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Mar 5, 2021
10:40 RS contributes to improvement of STCW audits
10:18 Solstad Offshore announces contracts awards for two subsea construction vessels
10:07 Aker Solutions awarded Åsgard B modification contract
09:44 Bunker prices are stale at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:27 Oil market sees steady growth of prices
09:10 Baltic Dry Index as of March 4

2021 March 4

18:31 Royal Doeksen takes over Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam from Royal IHC
18:11 A.P. Moller- Maersk to pioneer a first-ever block train from Japan to UK via Trans-Siberian railway
18:03 Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 09, 2021
17:59 Torqeedo and Poseidon announce new, commercial-grade electric drive for passenger ferries
17:18 Rosmorport obtains approval of Glavgosexpertiza for dredging under project on construction of LNG terminal in Kamchatka
16:44 Nefteflot lays down two survey ships of Project RDB66.62
15:15 Global shipping CO2 emissions decreased 1% in 2020 - Marine Benchmark
14:32 BW Group and Miros launch fuel-saving, emissions-reducing JV
14:05 Zvezda Shipyard lays down seventh Aframax tanker, Academic Ivanter
13:32 IAA PortNews to hold webinar dedicated to Yenisey as one of Siberian waterways on March 17
13:01 APM Terminals Valencia assembles three new Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes
12:03 Expeditionary Survey Boat Hydrograaf named at Damen Shipyards Den Helder
11:46 Roadmap approved for reduction of coal industry’s environmental impact
11:03 DNV supports Hapag-Lloyd’s milestone green financing
10:29 Gazpromneft-Lubricants solidifies the cooperation with FESCO
10:17 DuPont awarded grant from Singapore’s National Water Agency to increase sustainability of desalination for clean water
10:08 Tallink Grupp reports its statistics for February 2021
09:44 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Mar 04, 2021
09:27 Oil prices continue rising
09:11 Baltic Dry Index as of March 3

2021 March 3

18:20 Star Bulk Carriers announces acquisition of two resale modern high specification Kamsarmax vessels
18:16 Jumbo and SAL intend to form joint venture
17:55 ABS publishes landmark U.S. Offshore Wind Report