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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Euronav Suspends Operations with Russian Customers

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 31, 2022

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

Euronav has suspended operations with Russian customers, the oil tanker firm said on Thursday, adding this business accounted for less than 5% of its turnover.

The Antwerp-based group, which provides crude oil shipping and storage services, joins the growing ranks of Western companies scaling back ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls "a special military operation."

The company also said it could be adversely affected by trade tariffs and embargoes in light of the conflict.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, have come under growing pressure to pump more crude as Western sanctions enacted in response to the war have curtailed Russian oil exports.

In the longer term, ton miles - an industry measure incorporating volumes and distance - may increase as trade flows adjust for the reduction in Russian oil flows, Euronav said.

Oil prices plunged over $5 a barrel on Thursday on news the United States was considering the release of up to 180 million barrels from its strategic petroleum reserve.

Euronav also noted the price of marine fuels had increased as a consequence of the conflict, which it expects to make it more expensive to ship freight on long haul voyages.

OPEC+'s move last year to gradually restore output cuts started a long-awaited recovery in freight rates, but restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant limited progress.

In 2021, Euronav swung to a loss of $338.8 million, against a profit of $473.2 million a year earlier.

(Reuters - Reporting by Juliette PortalaEditing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)

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