Oil from Lukoil's Varandey port is shipped to Kirkenes in ice-classed tankers (left) and reloaded to normal oil-tankers transporting it to the European market. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Sharp increase in Barents Sea petroleum shipments

Russia ships out more oil than ever through its Arctic ports. Total transport was up 92 percent last year.
January 19, 2016

Despite falling global oil prices, Russia’s export in 2015 increase by more than 10 percent to a total of 220,267 million tons.

Through the Barents Sea, where oil export over the last decade has varied between 10 to 12 million tons, 2015 saw a peak record, with export from oil-ports like Varandey, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk.

In total, more than 23 million tons of petroleum products were shipped through the Barents Sea last year, according to the overview from Vardø Bessel Traffic Service Centre. Located in Norway’s north easternmost town, the centre has a good overview of vessels sailing in and out of the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. Cargo statistics, including amount of oil, are shared from marine traffic authorities in northwestern Russia.

Included in the 23 million tons of petroleum products are the liquid natural gas exported from Hammerfest LNG on the Norwegian coast of the Barents Sea.

Oil products exported from Murmansk are either reloaded from railway wagons coming to the port from fields in Western Siberia, or oil reloaded ship-to-ship in the Kola bay. POil shipments are also coming from Russia’s very first Arctic offshore field in production, the Prirazlomnoye. Some 700,000 tons were shipped from Prirazlomnoye in 2015.

Oil from Lukoil’s Varandey port in Nenets first sails in ice-classed vessel to the Norwegian port of Kirkenes where the oil is reloaded tankers bringing the oil further to the European markets. According to statistics published by PortNews, some 6,6 million tons of oil were exported from Varandey via Kirkenes in 2015.

Last week, Energy Minister, Aleksandr Novak, told Sputnik News that Russia has no plans to reduce its oil export in 2016 despite falling oil prices on the global market. Oil prices are no at its lowest since 2003, traded at $29 per barrel on Tuesday.

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