The US has sanctioned UAE-based shipping company Hennesea Holdings for transporting Russian crude oil priced above the $60-per-barrel price cap, meaning US companies cannot do business with the company. 

The US’ first oil price cap sanction of 2024 will affect Hennesea and all of its 18 vessels and follows the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identification of its US subsidiary HS Atlantica Limited and the vessel HS Atlantica as having transported oil above the price cap last year. 

The price cap is enforced by an international Price Cap Coalition, including the US, EU, Australia, and the G7, and seeks to maintain the global oil supply while limiting Russia’s revenue from the sector following the country’s war in Ukraine. 

Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Wally Adeyemo said: “Today’s actions once again demonstrate that anyone who violates the price cap will face the consequences. No one should doubt our coalition’s commitment to stopping those who help the Kremlin.” 

Hennesea’s sanctions followed other UAE companies hit by the US last year for alleged violations of the price cap rules, alongside shipping operators from Hong Kong and Turkey. 

While the Price Cap Coalition has been able to identify a number of businesses and vessels involved in violating the rules, a report by maritime AI company Windward last year found a 27% increase in dark activities by vessels after visiting a Russian port. 

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Alongside a 550% increase in dark ship activities in the Baltic Sea, where a vessel turns off its Automatic Identification System, the data shows that there may be more companies violating Russian sanctions than known.