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AsianOil: Russia's oil tankers stranded in South Korea amidst US sanctions and payment woes

In a significant blow to Moscow's oil exports, over a dozen Russian oil tankers carrying at least 10mn barrels of Sokol grade crude oil have found themselves stranded off the coast of South Korea's port of Yeosu. This situation has arisen due to a combination of US sanctions imposed on Moscow after the early 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and long-term payment disputes, according to information provided by traders and shipping data.

Making up the stranded fleet are believed to be 11 Aframax vessels and a trio of very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

The names of at least three of these larger vessels include the La Balena, Nireta and Nellis. The total volume of 1.3mn tonnes currently at sea off Yeosu on the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula represents more than a month's production from the Sakhalin-1 project.

Sakhalin-1 was a Russian flagship collaboration with US major ExxonMobil prior to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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