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Oil Export Enters New Dimension

Date of publication: 27 November 2018 Printable version

Billionth tonne of "black gold" shipped to Finland from the port of Primorsk.

The moment of loading of the billionth tonne of hydrocarbons for export in Primorsk

On 23 November, Transneft shipped the billionth tonne of hydrocarbons for export through the port of Primorsk. The Mastera tanker was waiting for this moment at berth No. 2. That very evening it had to leave for the Finnish port of Porvoo. The loading of the historic tonne was broadcast online. Some couple of seconds, and a long beep notified the journalists and the Сompany’s representatives gathered in the port about this milestone event.

“This billion is of great importance for everyone,” said Vladimir Nazarov, Deputy Vice-President of Transneft. “It means that there is a reliable channel, through which Russian oil and petroleum products producers can export their products. For them this means export revenue. For the country it also means export revenues coming into the federal and regional budgets.”

“For us it is a festive date. For our entire team, it is daily well-coordinated hard work done for the sake of implementing the long-term development programme. For our staff, it is twenty-four-hour work, since acceptance from pipelines and loading onto tankers is a continuous process. Therefore, it is a common victory, on which I would like to congratulate everyone,” added Maksim Kudinov, General Director of Transneft Primorsk Port.

Primorsk is the first Russian oil port in the Baltic region. It was built in late 2001 as the end point of the Baltic Pipeline System (BPS), which became a new export route for Russian raw materials. At that time, the Primorsk terminal consisted of 10 tanks of 50 thousand cubic meters each, a pump house and two berths. After BPS was expanded, the capacities of Primorsk also increased: two more deepwater berths and 8 tanks were built, and two pumping stations were equipped. Currently, cages for fish breeding and water plants cultivation are planned to be installed in order to monitor the level of water pollution. The process will be controlled with the help of the most contamination-sensitive fish species, trout and salmon.

Primorsk is the largest port in the North-West Russia. Its capacity is 60 million tonnes per year for oil shipment and 25 million tonnes for petroleum products shipment. This year, it is planned to export 38 million tonnes of oil through the port. This is slightly less than last year. At the same time, export of diesel fuel will be increased: it is much more profitable for the state than selling crude oil. The majority of ships leaving Primorsk are headed to the ports of Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Spain.

Baltic Neighbour

Primorsk is not the only port Transneft has in the Baltic region. Six years ago, Ust-Luga oil terminal was established on the cost of Luga Bay. It became the end point of the Baltic Pipeline System-2, commissioned in 2012. From the point of view of geopolitics, the project is of strategic importance. Previously, the lack of sufficient transshipment capacity forced domestic oil companies to resort to foreign ports’ services. The creation of the independent Baltic transportation direction allowed to diversify export flows of Russian oil. Moreover, it allowed to reduce the risks associated with its transportation to foreign markets: oil began to be exported to Europe directly, bypassing transit countries. It was an important step towards ensuring Russia’s energy security.

The initially designed capacity of the terminal was 30 million tonnes of oil per year. However, as early as last year, implementation of technical measures allowed Transneft to increase the throughput capacity of BPS-2 by 20%, up to 36 million tonnes per year. As a result, in 2017, 32.7 million tonnes of oil were shipped for export through Ust-Luga.

Since March 2012, when the first tanker was loaded in Ust-Luga, the total volume of oil exported from the facility has amounted to more than 150 million tonnes. The port oil depot’s turnover has increased more than twice during this time.

Despite this Ust-Luga still has potential for development. The project of the second stage of BPS-2, which provides for the possibility of expanding the throughput capacity up to 38 million tonnes, includes construction of three oil pumping stations as well as two additional tanks directly on the territory of the onshore oil depot.

The Largest Port in the Country

Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port has the largest turnover in the country. Crude oil and petroleum products make up the majority of the liquid bulk cargo handled there. 30.7 million tonnes of “black gold” were exported from the port last year. Before entering the port, oil from Russian producers, as well as from our closest neighbours, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, is pumped through Transneft’s oil trunk pipelines to Sheskharis transshipment complex.

The construction of Sheskharis oil depot began in 1961. From the very beginning, designers thought big. A tank farm with the capacity of 99 thousand cubic meters was built on the similarly named cape at the altitude of 100 meters above sea level. At the same time, construction of Grushovaya oil transshipment depot was going on. These two industrial sites are located 12 km apart. In 2015, these two facilities were connected by a pipeline tunnel. At present, the transshipment complex has one of the largest tank farms in Russia with the total storage capacity of 1.3 million cubic meters of oil.

The first tanker loaded with raw materials for export departed from a local berth in 1964, more than half a century ago. In 2015, Sheskharis shipped its 1.5 billionth tonne of oil.

This year, Transneft has commissioned the facilities of the Volgograd Refinery – Tinguta – Tikhoretsk–- Novorossiysk petroleum products trunk pipeline, which is part of the Yug Project.  It was within this project that transshipment of Euro-5 class diesel fuel started. The technical capability of the petroleum products pipeline allows for transportation of up to 6 million tonnes per year towards the export terminal of the Company.

In the summer of 2018, Kozmino port shipped the 200 millionth tonne of oil


Kozmino port, located in Nakhodka Bay of Primorye Territory, is the oil gateway to the countries of Asia and the Pacific. The region’s energy market is extremely promising for Russia. The industry in this region is growing rapidly, boosting the demand for energy resources, which, in its turn, increases the need for imported oil. An oil pipeline that would bring Russian oil onto the fast-growing market of Asia and the Pacific was a must.

Kozmino is the end point of the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) transportation system, which is almost 5,000 km long and passes through six regions of Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. That's where the new ESPO (East Siberian - Pacific Ocean) grade oil is exported from. The main buyers are China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea and Singapore.

Phase I of the oil port was commissioned in 2009. At the first stage, oil arrived at the port exclusively by rail in the amount of up to 15 million tonnes per year. However, three years later, phase II was put into operation, which included construction of a coastal oil depot for receiving oil and connection to the oil trunk pipeline. This permitted to double the volume of raw materials supplied to the terminal. Last year, 31.7 million tonnes of oil were shipped through Kozmino port.

From 2015 to 2017, technical measures were implemented to increase the throughput capacity of the sea terminal up to 36 million tonnes. At the same time, an approach dam was reconstructed, and dredging works were conducted in the water area of ​​the berths, allowing to receive tankers with the deadweight of up to 150 thousand tonnes, and two new oil storage tanks were built.

Kozmino port has also reached a milestone. In June 2018, the volume of oil shipped from the port since it started operating, exceeded 200 million tonnes. We’d like to remind you that Kozmino is the youngest Russian port. However, the moment its shipment volume is measured in billions is not far away.

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