A shortage of available tankers in the Caspian Sea results in crude oil trader chartering a previously sunk 1974-built vessel
A dispute between Turkmenistan oil producers and trading houses moving into a previously closed crude oil export market has inadvertently led to one European trading house chartering a 1974-built tanker, according to Reuters.
The report stated that regular Turkmenistan crude oil exporter SOCAR has withdrawn the tankers it controls in the Caspian Sea from the market. This has led to the other traders scrambling to charter vessels to lift crude oil.
As a result, one European trading house is reported to have chartered 6,700-dwt Grigoriy Bugrov, which was built in Volgograd in 1974. As a Russian seagoing river tanker, the construction is double-hull throughout, according to local reports.
Grigoriy Bugrov is currently worth US$1.04M at scrap value, according to VesselsValue. The vessel had its latest special survey in 2018 and according to local sources, is in full compliance with the required regulations.
The vessel has some unusual history, having had the dubious honour of being rammed by a fire-fighting vessel in 2011, before running aground on a reef at the entrance to the Volga–Caspian Sea Canal a month later.
According to reports at the time, the vessel had strayed into Russian Navy gun practice area and hit a submerged object causing a leak in the engineroom (the cargo tanks were undamaged) and sank in 8 m of water, covering all but the navigation bridge.
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