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Russia’s Novorossiysk Port May Remain Closed Until Next Week

Novorossiysk, Russia’s largest Black Sea port, may remain shut until Jan. 21 because of winter storms, according to OAO Transneft.

Four tankers have been unable to load crude since the storms began on Jan. 15, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for the pipeline operator, said today by phone from Moscow.

Novorossiysk was scheduled to load three 80,000 metric ton shipments and one 140,000 ton lot of Urals crude from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News on Dec. 28. Two additional cargoes, of 140,000 tons and 85,000 tons, are scheduled to load by Jan. 21.

Transneft may need to keep crude at the oil hub of Tikhoretsk located about 300 kilometers (185 miles) from Novorossiysk if the port runs out of storage space before the storms end, Dyomin said.

No diversions to any of the nation’s other ports are planned, he said. Transneft is Russia’s oil pipeline operator and jointly owns 50.1 percent of the Novorossiysk port with Summa Group.

Loading programs are monthly schedules of crude shipments compiled by field operators to allow buyers and sellers to plan their supply and trading activities.

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