Oil tankers loaded approximately 41 million barrels of oil – mainly Russian and Kazakh from the Black Sea ports – stand in line to pass through the key Turkish straits, according to data released on Wednesday by the port operator Tribeca Shipping.
A total of 55 vessels were stuck in front of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, including 21 Suezmax class tankers and 26 Aframax class vessels.
On Tuesday, there were 51 such tankers, and their cargo was estimated at 38.7 million barrels.
The waiting time for passage through the straits for tankers leaving the Black Sea is about 16 days, which is significantly longer than the usual 5-6 days and is the maximum since 2014.
In the opposite direction, the waiting time is about 14 days, with the usual 6 days, reports Bloomberg with reference to Tribeca.
According to Tribeca, the delays are mainly due to the introduction by Turkey of new rules for the passage of ships in September last year. New rules, in particular, require escorting a tug for more types of vessels than the previous ones.
Another factor limiting traffic through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, are adverse weather conditions.
The Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits are key transit points for exporting Russian oil from the Black Sea ports. Over 120 million tons of oil and oil products are transported through them annually. The closure of the straits leads to interruptions in the supply of oil from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
In addition to oil and petroleum products, long lines in front of the Turkish straits adversely affect the trade in cereals, including wheat.