by Shipping Research Bureau
June 17, 1982
3 pages
Type: Press Release
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Language: English
The press release announces a report that identifies over 20 oil and shipping companies that appear to have violated the oil embargo against South Africa; the lucrative and highly secret oil trade with South Africa (a country with no crude oil of its own) is worth at least $3 billion per year. The report identifies 256 oil tankers that called at South African ports during 1980 and the first half of 1981 and highlights information about 52 of these that are considered to be the most likely to have made deliveries of crude oil. The most important company involved is Shell, which is based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and has major investments in South Africa. The report also reveals the significant roles played by two little-known Netherlands-based oil-trading companies, Transworld Oil B. V. and Vitol B. V.; other countries whose oil and shipping companies are linked with several of the 52 "most suspicious" tankers include Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. The report reveals two basic ways companies evade the embargo. About half of these tankers departed the Arabian Gulf indicating some other destination, which they changed to South Africa once they are on the high seas. In other cases, companies sometimes purchase crude oil, then send it to a transshipment port such as Rotterdam and put it into storage, then load it into another tanker destined for South Africa. The press release says these and other findings are contained in the report “Oil Tankers to South Africa 1980 - 1981,” compiled by the Shipping Research Bureau, a two-year-old Netherlands-based non-profit organization. The press release includes a quote by Cor Groenendijk, Chairman of the Shipping Research Bureau.
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections