The Norwegian port of Kirkenes fights Murmansk over reloading of Arctic oil from Lukoil. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Lukoil brings its Arctic oil to Murmansk

For the first time in years, oil from Varandey is reloaded in the Kola Bay.
April 19, 2016

Murmansk appears to be taking over the role as reloading site for Lukoil’s Arctic oil. Leader of the Western Arctic Port Administration, a public body, confirms to PortNews that the company is in the process of reloading oil in the Kola Bay.

The reloading operation is taking place with the tankers «Kapitan Gotsky” and «Proteas», Sergey Didenko says to PortNews.ru

Another tanker, the «Vasily Dinkov» is shortly expected to enter the Kola Bay with more oil, Didenko says.

The oil comes from Varandey, Lukoil’s terminal facility on the Pechora Sea coast.

According to PortNews, the oil company, Russia’s second biggest, is now testing ship-to-ship reloading facilities in Murmansk and might ultimately choose to ship all its Arctic oil to a projected new terminal in the area.

The Murmansk-operation is bad news for Kirkenes, the neighboring Norwegian town, where local company Norterminal for years has been cooperating with Lukoil about reloading. In 2015, about 6,5 million tons of Russian oil was reloaded in Norterminal’s facility in the Kirkenes fjord.

Norterminal owner Jacob Stolt-Nilsen earlier told the Barents Observer that his cooperation with Lukoil remains «very good» and that he knows nothing about the company’s plans to move operations to Murmansk. He indicated, however, that the Russian company over the last three years has been under pressure to move the reloading business back to domestic waters.

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”Lukoil is pleased with our services in Kirkenes”, Jacob Stolt-Nielsen underlined. ”We are well established [in Kirkenes] and are getting good feedback from the customer”, the Norwegian company owner added to the Barents Observer.

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