- Bosphorus Strait oil tanker traffic jam unlikely to end soon.
- Turkey’s maritime authority sticking to its guns over requiring insurance letters from the ships passing through.
- All vessels are required to present their proof of insurance that covers the full duration of their transit through the strait, or when calling at Turkish ports.
The traffic jam of oil tankers in the Bosphorus Strait won’t see relief anytime soon, with Turkey’s maritime authority sticking to its guns over requiring insurance letters from the ships passing through.
Since the start of the month, Turkey has mandated insurance checks on oil tankers to make sure all ships traveling through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits are properly covered, as the G7 price cap banned all Western insurers from covering ships carrying Russian oil unless it was purchased below the $60 price cap.
The checks require all vessels to present their proof of insurance that covers the full duration of their transit through the strait, or when calling at Turkish ports.
These insurance checks have caused extensive shipping delays, along with a traffic jam in the area. Western officials from the UK, U.S., and EU have spoken with Turkey about alleviating the jam by forgoing the insurance checks. “There is no reason for ships to be denied access to the Bosphorus Strait for the environmental or health and safety concerns,” A British Treasury official said on Wednesday.
Russia is concerned about the delays too, and is in discussion with insurance carriers and transport companies.
But Turkey said on Thursday that it would carry on with its insurance checks, referring to the process as “routine”.
Much of the crude oil being held up in the Strait is crude oil from Kazakhstan, not Russia. Kazakhstan ships its crude oil from Russian ports on the Black Sea—and it isn’t subject to the G7 oil price cap rules. Still, Turkey is demanding these vessels prove they have the proper coverage. As of Wednesday, the number of tankers that had piled up in the Strait was around 20.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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