The tightening of shipping sanctions targeting the Kremlin will drive European operators from the Russian oil business and leave a lightly regulated “dark fleet” in total control of the tanker trade, the CEO of Fractal Shipping has told TradeWinds.

Mathieu Philippe, who heads the only European start-up to join the lucrative market hauling price-capped Russian oil, said a regulatory crackdown would end the profit premium for such trades and hasten his company’s exit from the market.