Oil tankers that carried Russia’s flagship Urals crude to the Gulf of Oman have stayed put since they arrived, the latest example of abnormal shipping movements that have become more common since sanctions were imposed on the country’s exports.

The tanker Elza has been anchored off Oman since Dec. 9, while Coatlicue floated near Fujairah in the UAE for at least two months. Each vessel loaded about 700,000 barrels of Urals from Russia’s Baltic port of Primorsk in November, according to port agent reports and ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. 

A European Union embargo and a Group of Seven price cap on Russian crude, imposed in early December, have prompted a spate of unusual shipping activities. The switching of cargoes between tankers at sea has soared, with about one-third of Urals exports from the Baltic ports in January conducting ship-to-ship transfers. Some vessels are now sailing to novel destinations, such as Ghana. 

The vessels’ depths in the water suggest they have the same cargoes on board as when they arrived. If that is the case, it would imply expensive freight bills. However, data from Vortexa Ltd., a shipping analytics firm, indicated that Coatlicue discharged its cargo in early March. 

The UAE has maintained ties with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine last year and has steered clear of imposing sanctions on Russian individuals and assets.