For the first time in years, oil from Varandey is reloaded in the Kola Bay.
Murmansk appears to be taking over the role as reloading site for Lukoil’s Arctic oil. Sergei Didenko, head of Western Arctic Sea Ports Administration, a public body, confirmed 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», Didenko told PortNews.ru.
Another tanker, the «Vasily Dinkov» is expected to enter the Kola Bay with more oil soon, Didenko said.
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 has for years conducted reloading operations for Lukoil. 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.
“Lukoil is pleased with our services in Kirkenes,” Stolt-Nielsen underlined. “We are well established [in Kirkenes] and are getting good feedback from the customer.”
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Energy challenges in Canada’s North, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Chinese energy giant plans €1bn biofuel plant in northern Finland, Yle News
Norway: OMV finds more oil in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Arctic offshore oil more than doubled in Russia, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Will Sweden be able to produce enough energy in the future?, Radio Sweden
United States: Obama, Trudeau announce plans to fight Arctic oil and gas pollution; Alaskans criticize lack of input, Alaska Dispatch News