Despite sanctions, a shipment of liquid natural gas from a blacklisted Russian company in Siberia was expected to be unloaded in Boston last weekend.
The French LNG tanker Gaselys has been sitting in Massachusetts Bay since January 24, but the tanker was expected to land at Engie SA’s Everett LNG import terminal just north of Boston last weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard told Bloomberg on Friday.
Russian state-owned shipping company Sovcomflot delivered gas from Siberia’s Yamal LNG, a joint venture established by Russia’s Novatek, France’s Total, and China’s CNPC, to a terminal on Britain’s Isle of Grain late last year, according to Reuters. Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Berhad then sold the product to Engie, a French company.
The gas was loaded on the Gaselys, a ship bound for New England with a mixture of liquid natural gas from multiple locations. While the delivery was delayed, the ship is expected to make port in the very near future.
While Russia’s oil and gas exports are not subject to U.S. sanctions, Yamal LNG and Novatek, the project’s majority owner, are both blacklisted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Politico revealed Friday.
The delivery of Russian LNG to Everett terminal is reportedly unprecedented. But, as the liquid natural gas on board the tanker is now the product of a French company, not the original Russian producer, its arrival in the United States is not technically a violation of the Obama-era prohibitions.
The Trump administration announced new sanctions against Russia on Friday, designating 21 individuals and 9 entities in order to increase pressure on the Russian government.
The arrival of the Gaselys signals the difficulty in enforcing sanctions against Russia in a diverse and expanding global energy market. Another tanker with a similar cargo is expected to arrive in February.