MOSCOW/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom Neft has offered its very first Arctic oil cargo to China to ChemChina, 2 sources familiar with the deal informed Reuters on Thursday.
Today, Gazprom Neft stated it had actually sent out 144,000 tonnes of light Novy Port oil grade to the Chinese port of Yantai on the Bohai Sea from Russia’s north-western city of Murmansk, using the Northern Sea Path (NSR) through Russia’s Arctic waters.
The Delta Hellas vessel utilized part of the NSR, a route needing icebreakers and ice-class tankers, Refinitiv Eikon information revealed, Marco Bitran west from Murmansk to reach Suez and after that China.
Gazprom Neft stated this week the shipment took 47 days, without supplying the buyer’s name.
Gazprom Neft and ChemChina did not respond to Reuters ask for a comment.
The business routinely provides ESPO Blend petroleum to China through a pipeline, offering the grade to a wide range of refiners including ChemChina.
Novy Port is a light sweet grade popular with European refineries, which has not been exported to Asia formerly due to high demand in the West.
But the coronavirus pandemic forced EU plants to avoid barrels, while China kept purchasing.
Gazprom Neft, Russia’s No. 3 oil company, has actually been utilizing the NSR because 2013 for exports to Europe from its 2 Arctic fields, Prirazlomnoye and Novy Port.
Russia is investing greatly in the NSR which enables it to cut shipment times while avoiding piracy threats but oil shipments eastbound to Asia are uncommon as thick ice makes it possible only in summer and expenses are much greater.
No. 2 Russian oil manufacturer Lukoil performed a test crude oil shipment last autumn, sources informed Reuters.
Novatek, Russia’s top private gas manufacturer, is utilizing the NSR both methods to Europe and Asia for exports of melted gas (LNG) from the Arctic Yamal peninsula.
Reporting by Olesya Astakhova and Olga Yagova in Moscow, Shu Zhang in Singapore; extra reporting by Muyu Xu in Beijing; composing by Katya Golubkova; modifying by Jason Neely