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Transneft Resolves Tug Boat Dispute at Baltic Oil Port

OAO Rosneft and OAO Transneft resolved a tug-boat dispute at Primorsk port, allowing normal operations to resume at the Baltic oil-export terminal, said a spokesman for Transneft, Russia’s pipeline operator.

Companies affiliated with Transneft and Rosneft, the nation’s biggest oil company, have signed an agreement, ending a dispute that disrupted exports yesterday, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for Transneft, said by phone at about 4 p.m. Moscow time. The port is one of two handling Russia’s seaborne crude exports to northwest Europe.

“The port of Primorsk has fully returned to operations as usual,” Dyomin said.

One crude tanker was loading this morning and another was waiting to be loaded, while refined oil products were transferred onto two other tankers at the terminal last night and this morning, as expected, Dyomin said earlier today, before the spat was resolved.

Russia plans to ship less than 1 million barrels a day of Urals crude from Primorsk port for a second month in July, a loading program showed yesterday. The tally is little changed from June, which was the lowest loading rate in more than five years.

The port halted loadings because Rosnefteflot tug boats didn’t have the necessary approvals, Dyomin said yesterday. Rosneft, which co-owns Rosnefteflot with Sovcomflot, said in an e-mailed statement earlier today that the tug boats in Primorsk “have all the rights” to conduct operations.

The tug boats, used to guide vessels to their loading positions, had been certified according to relevant laws and requirements, according to Rosneft.

The Urals grade in northwest Europe cost 25 cents a barrel more than North Sea benchmark Dated Brent today, compared with a 16-cent premium yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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