Vice President Sergei Andronov of the Russian state-owned transport monopoly said on Nov. 20 that the company will export 4.9MM b/d of Urals crude via its pipeline system next year. The company plans to export 4.8MM b/d of Urals via its pipes this year.
Transneft has warned of the declining quality of the Urals exports moved via its system to Europe due to the re-routing of more low-sulfur Russian crude east to China via the ESPO pipe. Transneft claims it expects the sulfur content in Urals moved west next year to reach "a critical level," as the company has no further technological tools to improve the quality of crude flows headed to European customers. Transneft's vice-president Sergei Andronov said, "Due to a [planned] rise in low-sulfur crude supplies to China, there will be no more low-sulfur volumes available for improving crude quality via other directions."
Andronov said that at the request of the Russian energy ministry, Transneft maintains the quality of crude delivered to domestic refineries stable, at around 1.63% sulfur since 2014. As a result of increasing low-sulfur crude exports to China and the need to maintain stable sulfur in crude delivered to domestic refineries, Andronov expects the sulfur content in Urals crude moved to Europe to rise from 1.51% to 1.61% next year. (Nov 20, 21)
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