Contaminated Russian crude oil: at least one Aframax tanker is unable to discharge cargo to receiver, other tankers may be affected
Russia is slowly revealing the extent of the contaminated Russian crude oil, which is far greater than initially reported and may be on board more than one tanker.
According to Reuters, last month crude oil in the Druzhba pipeline was contaminated by organic chloride, a chemical compound used to boost oil extraction by cleaning wells and accelerating the flow of crude, but the contamination was limited.
Now Reuters is reporting that up to 5M tonnes or 36.7M barrels of crude oil may contain excessive amounts of the compound, which will destroy oil product extraction systems if it is run through a refinery.
The contaminated crude oil originated in Volga region of Samara and was delivered by the Druzhba pipeline to the Russian port of Ust-Lug on the Baltic Sea coast.
Supplies from the Druzhba pipeline, which daily delivers the equivalent of 1% of global crude oil flows, has been stopped since 25 April 2019.
According to a claim going through a London court, 100,000 tonnes of contaminated Russian crude oil was loaded between 22-23 April at Ust-Luga on 2017-built, Thenamaris-owned Aframax Searuby.
The crude oil was bound for a refinery in Turkey, but the cargo is now the subject of a dispute between Glencore and Socar Trading, the two traders involved in the deal.
Searuby has been waiting for a month for further orders with tanks full of contaminated crude oil.
According to VesselsValue data, in the week that Searuby loaded crude oil at Ust-Luga, another 27 Aframax and Suezmax tankers made laden voyages from that location, but it is not known if the cargoes were contaminated crude oil or clean crude oil from storage.
No doubt this will be revealed in future court cases.
Don’t miss the opportunity to network
Maritime Cyber Risk Management Forum, London: 25 June
Maritime Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Conference, Bergen: 3 September
Maritime Hybrid & Electric Conference, Bergen: 4-5 September
Smart Tug Operations Conference Asia, Singapore: 16 September
Asian Offshore Support Journal Conference, Singapore: 17-18 September
Optimised Ship Forum, Hamburg: September
Asian Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference, Singapore: 15-16 October
Optimised Ship Forum, Oslo: 6 November
Asian Maritime Hybrid & Electric Conference, Singapore: November
Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference, Awards & Exhibition, London: 26-27 November
LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference – Europe, London: 28-29 November
Optimised Ship Forum, London: 10 December
Optimised Ship Forum, Asia: 1 February
Offshore Wind Journal Conference, London: 4 February
European Dynamic Positioning Conference, London: 4 February
Offshore Support Journal Subsea Conference, London: 4 February
Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference, Awards & Exhibition, London: 5-6 February
Optimised Ship Forum, Rotterdam: 1 March