Norwegian state oil and gas company Statoil rejected a Russian fuel oil cargo
that breached hydrogen sulphide limits, a toxic gas, currently anchored in Rotterdam. The news came as shipping inspectors boarded vessels in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region to test if other cargoes were similarly contaminated. There are fears that another three cargoes from the same source might also breach hydrogen sulphide regulations. The Zoja 2, carrying 26,159 tons of fuel oil was refused permission to discharge its cargo by Rotterdam port officials on Thursday. Navitank, the seller, declined to comment on the possibility that other cargoes sold to traders and refiners might be equally polluted.
"There are four cargoes from the same source, ours happens to be the first. The others could be at acceptable limits for Rotterdam," said the Statoil source. "The scale of the problem could be exaggerated."
He said that storage companies in the ARA region could handle product containing between five and 10 parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulphide. "It depends on which terminals are used and how far away they are from the local population."
Trading sources said on Thursday that the cargoes originated from the Ufa refinery owned by Bashneftekhim in the Ural mountains in Russia. One was, according to the sources, owned by Texaco and was on the water, while the owners of the remaining two could not be identified. - (Reuters)