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IHS Markit maritime data uncovers the effects of US sanctions on Venezuela’s oil tanker activity

16 July 2020 Byron McKinney

The US based research organization, C4ADS, has released a new analysis paper documenting maritime trading activity in Venezuelan waters. This paper focuses on the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanctions on PDVSA, the Venezuelan state owned oil company and how US sanctions since January 2019 have affected the country's vessel activity.

The report outlines, through the use of AIS data to track and locate a vessel and corporate information on ship ownership, how Venezuela's shipping network has been disrupted and impacted by US Executive Order 13850. Two of the important elements in the paper cover dark activity (a vessels AIS transmitter being switched off) and port visits. In both cases, activity decreased, with port calls down 46% and dark activity down 2%. Equally, it was found that vessel activity in some respects increased; 100 vessels made their first call to a Venezuelan port since the EO was signed in January 2019.

In the C4ADS report, IHS Markit's role as the issuer of the IMO number for vessels and originating source for the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme is used with great effect to identify vessels engaged in potential sanctions evasion. IHS Markit data is used to identify suspicious vessels and most importantly identifying the complex ownership structure that sits behind the vessel.

The detailed report by C4ADS offers unique insights into the trading patterns, methods and networks of various shipping companies when dealing with Venezuelan oil cargoes. IHS Markit is proud to support efforts to uncover and understand in greater detail how sanctions are frequently being evaded through the use of its maritime content.

The analysis paper from C4ADS can be viewed here.

Posted 16 July 2020 by Byron McKinney, Product Management Director, Maritime, Trade & Supply Chain, S&P Global Market Intelligence


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