Growing volumes of Russian Arctic oil are shipped through Norwegian waters and reloaded in Norwegian fjords. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

New high in Barents Sea oil shipments

Never before has this much Russian oil been transported along the Norwegian Arctic coast.
June 22, 2016



Figures from the Norwegian Coastal Administration show that a total of 1,532 million tons of raw oil in April this year crossed the Norwegian maritime border. That is the biggest volume ever recorded in the area.

In its monthly report on petroleum transportation, the Coastal Administration writes that a total of 17 tankers transported the raw oil, most of them departed from Murmansk and were on course to Rotterdam.

In addition, also other kinds of petroleum products were transported, among them LNG from Melkøya, the Norwegian gas plant, as well as condensate and destillates.

In total, the volumes of various oil products shipped through the area in April amounted to 2,253 million tons, a significant increase from the same month last year, and a huge growth from 2014 when only about 750,000 tons was shipped through the waters.

The reports from the Coastal Administration covers volumes of oil and oil products shipped to and from northern Russian ports, as well as shipments from Melkøya and reloading operations in the waters near Kirkenes, Norway.

The increase in Barents oil shipping comes as Russia is boosting out-shipments from Arctic port terminals like Varandey and Novy Port. Figures from the Russian Association of Sea Trade Ports show that Varandey in the period January-May 2016 increased out-shipments by 23 percent year-on-year to a total of 3,3 million tons. That oil is today sent to Murmansk or neighboring Norwegian port of Kirkenes for reloading.


At Novy Port, the new port developed by Gazprom-Neft in the Yamal Peninsula, out-shipments are picking pace as infrastructure and nearby oil field development is coming in order. The company has hired terminal tanker «Umba» for reloading operations in the Kola Bay. The «Umba» also serves the offshore Prirazlomnoye field. 


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