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Mon Jan 30, 2023, 03:25 PM

India Upstart Companies Help Russia Keep Its Oil Production Up

Russia has managed to keep its oil moving to world markets, defying fears that sanctions imposed last month would lead to a plunge in exports.

A small office in a suburb of Mumbai helps explain how Russian crude continues to flow. The address is home to an Indian shipping company that didn’t manage a single ship until 2022. It took control of two dozen tankers after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and has put them to work shuttling Russian crude along newly established trade routes to the Mediterranean, Turkey and India, vessel-ownership and tracking data show.

Gatik Ship Management is among the most active of the upstart companies that have snapped up aging oil tankers to replace Western-owned ships no longer dealing with Russia. That parallel fleet is helping Moscow get crude to buyers in Asia, according to shipping executives, brokers and vessel-tracking, ownership and insurance data.

“The shipping market has always been able to adapt to political change,” said Lars Barstad, chief executive officer of tanker owner Frontline Ltd.


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