Russian oil companies apparently violated the demand of Russian President Vladimir Putin and sold several tankers of oil in accordance with the "price ceiling" set by the Western coalition for Russian oil. This is reported by the British Financial Times with reference to tanker transportation data, as well as representatives of companies involved in the export of Russian raw materials to India.
At least seven tankers carrying Russian oil that left Russian ports after December 5 are currently bound for India and have Western insurance coverage. This indicates that the deliveries were made in accordance with Western sanctions, that is, oil in tankers was sold at a price below the established “ceiling” of $60 per barrel. Thus, Russian companies did not comply with the demand of Vladimir Putin, who argued that Russia would not supply oil "according to Western rules." The publication notes that such a case can somewhat calm the markets, which are afraid of a sharp reduction in the supply of oil on the market.
The Singaporean company Essential, which chartered the Ruby Phoenix tanker, directly confirmed to the publication that they have all the necessary documents to transport Russian oil in accordance with Western sanctions: “We have the necessary confirmations from our partners that the cargo in question complies with the restrictions prices". Operators of other vessels, as well as Indian buyers of Russian oil, did not respond to a request for comment.
At the current stage, Western officials are satisfied with how the mechanism works: everything is going according to plan - Russia is forced to sell oil at prices below the "ceiling". One of the publication's sources claims that there are actually even more than seven tankers that have obeyed Western sanctions. The publication itself found three more ships with Western insurance, but could not confirm that the oil in these ships was sold at a price below $60.
The Russian authorities assured that they would not submit to Western sanctions and would refuse to supply oil to countries that would join the oil price ceiling mechanism. At the same time, Vladimir Putin recently acknowledged that Russian oil is already being sold below the ceiling of $60 per barrel. In some ports, a barrel of oil is traded at $42-45 per barrel. Even the average export price of oil in mid-December fell below $60 and reached $57.49 per barrel. Rising risks lowered Russian oil prices below the "ceiling" at the end of November, as reported by traders working in the Indian direction.
To get around the restrictions, Russia tried to buy up the maximum possible number of tankers, however, according to market participants, the “shadow fleet” of about 100 tankers will still not be enough to maintain current export volumes. On the contrary, analysts predict a drop in oil exports from Russia by about 20%, or 1 million barrels per day, and with the start of the sanctions mechanism, exports have already begun to decline. The Russian authorities promised to respond to Western sanctions. In addition to a ban on the supply of oil to countries that supported the "price ceiling", the introduction of a "price bottom" was considered - that is, the minimum value below which Russia will not sell oil abroad. The Kremlin promised to present its response to the sanctions this week.