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Transneft Plans to Load 2O Ust-Luga Urals Cargoes in July

Russia plans to load 2 million metric tons of Urals crude from Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea in July, the most since the terminal started operations in March, according to OAO Transneft, Russia’s oil pipeline operator.

Transneft will offer 20 positions from Ust-Luga next month, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for the company, told reporters at the terminal today. Each slot is for 100,000 tons.

Oil loadings from Ust Luga, the receiving point of Transneft’s 100 billion-ruble ($3.3 billion) Baltic Pipeline System-2, started on March 23 after a delay since November because of engineering difficulties. The BPS-2 link will have a capacity of 30 million tons a year, or 600,000 barrels a day, and is expected to carry 10 million to 15 million tons of crude this year, Dyomin said on Feb. 13.

Urals exports from Ust Luga are scheduled to drop to 1 million tons in June from 1.6 million tons in May after three free positions went unfilled, according to loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News.

Urals crude loaded from Ust-Luga is lower in quality and about 0.1 percentage point higher in sulfur content than oil shipped from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, Dyomin said yesterday by phone from Moscow. It’s similar to oil from the Druzhba pipeline and is still “within specification”, he said.

Primorsk Urals has density of 31 to 33 degrees on the American Petroleum Institute scale and a sulfur content of about 1.3 percent, according to Platts, the energy news and pricing unit of New York-based McGraw-Hill Cos.

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