- A Russian oil tanker is in Ghana's territorial waters carrying 600,000 barrels of crude oil that experts believe could be stashed at the Tema Oil Refinery
- Bloomberg reports that the tanker, Theseus, arrived in Ghana on Friday, February 24, 2023, and has been in the country since then
- Russia is struggling to find buyers for its oil after US, EU and their allies imposed sanctions over Putin's decision to invade Ukraine
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It has emerged that a huge Russian oil tanker carrying about 600,000 barrels of crude oil reached Ghana's territorial waters on Friday, February 24, 2023.
According to the international business news network Bloomberg, its tanker tracking data show that Theseus arrived in Ghana’s territorial waters from a port in the Black Sea as Russia struggles to get buyers for its oil due to US and EU sanctions over the Ukraine invasion.
"The last signal from the vessel was on Sunday evening, by which time unloading had not begun. Its cargo was due to be pumped into storage tanks in Tema,” the report by Bloomberg said.
Russia not getting buyers for its crude oil
The United States and the European Union banned almost all seaborne imports from Russia in December 2022 over Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
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Bloomberg explained in its report that due to the sanction, Russia is currently under intense pressure to meet oil revenue targets. So far only India and China are the biggest buyers of Russian oil.
The report said the crude oil that Theseus, the Russian oil tanker currently in Ghana, is carrying will soon be deposited in huge tanks at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
Also, the international business news network disclosed that when Theseus was on its way to Ghana, the CEO of Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid vowed the shipment would be blocked if it was bound for the country.
But Bloomberg reports that the NPA is yet to respond to multiple requests for comment after the ship reached Ghana.
The last time Russia brought its crude oil to Ghana was in October 2018.
Ghana's gold for oil policy
YEN.com.gh reported in November 2022 that Ghana announced a controversial plan to buy refined crude products like diesel and petrol with gold to decrease the demand for forex which causes the cedi to depreciate.
The move has since been criticised as untenable by some experts in the petroleum and finance sectors.
For instance, COPEC-GH has said the best way to reduce pressure on Ghana's forex reserves is to bring TOR back online.
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