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Row Over Port Control Disrupts Russia’s Oil Product Exports

Litasco shipping

Russia’s exports of oil products from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk have been disrupted since the beginning of this month due to a conflict over the control of the port, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing four industry sources.

The port of Novorossiysk handles between 300,000 tons and 350,000 tons of oil products each month, mostly diesel and naphtha.

But oil product exports from the IPP terminal at the Novorossiysk port have been delayed since early February amid a conflict among management over the port’s control, three sources told Reuters.

Between 1,000 and 2,500 rail cars full of oil products have been stuck near the port waiting to be loaded onto oil tankers, while ships have been waiting at the harbor in Novorossiysk.

According to trading sources who spoke to Reuters, loading operations of two tankers have been canceled. These are the Andromeda tanker chartered by Litasco, the trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, and the Atlantas II tanker of oil trading major Trafigura.

It was not immediately clear when the Novorossiysk oil terminal loading operations would return to normal.

The Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) is one of the largest transport crossroads in southern Russia.

Related: Is Nigeria Breaking Its Promise To OPEC?

Last year crude oil shipments at Novorossiysk increased by 0.9 percent on the year to 30.7 million tons, NCSP Group—the holding group that owns the Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port—said last month. The volume of oil products shipped at the Novorossiysk port declined by 6.7 percent annually to 16.7 million tons.

Total oil products shipment at Russian sea ports edged up 0.5 percent last year thanks to increase of shipments from the Tuapse refinery via the port of Tuapse on the Black Sea north of Sochi, and from the Anitipinsk and Maryisk refineries via a proprietary terminal in Murmansk, a port in northern Russia on the Barents Sea.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oiprice.com

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