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Black Sea Storm Disrupts Russian and Kazakh Oil Exports

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 28, 2023

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

A severe storm in the Black Sea region has disrupted up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports from Kazakhtsan and Russia, according to state's officials and port agent data.

Oil loadings from Novorossiysk and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) terminal in nearby Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka have been suspended since last week.

Kazakhstan's largest oilfields - Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak - are cutting combined daily oil output by 56% from November 27 as the storm disrupts loadings at CPC, the main export terminal for Kazakh oil, the Kazakh energy ministry said.

The disruption is expected to lower Kazakhstan's oil production by 631,700 metric tons this week, it said, adding that it was unclear when the situation would normalise.

Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, the largest Black Sea outlet for oil and products, remained closed for loadings on Tuesday, according to port agent data seen by Reuters.

Two oil cargoes carrying 80,000 tons each were waiting for improved weather before sailing. Both have been delayed for more than a week, the data shows, along with about 10 tankers yet to start loading.

November's initial oil loading plan from Novorossiysk was set at 2.42 million tons (about 580,000 bpd), with actual loadings likely to be around 1.5 million tons, said two traders familiar with the port's operations.

Russian oil companies are expected to re-route most of their volumes to Baltic ports for December, the traders said.

Unlike Russia, Kazakhstan doesn't have many alternative export routes for its oil. Under the current plan, the Kazakh Energy ministry said, output will fall even further by December 3, with the Chevron-led Tengiz field completely halting production and the country's total output decreasing by 126,000 tons per day.

The ministry now sees November oil output, not including gas condensate, at 1.588 million bpd and December production at 1.673 million bpd, down from the previously planned 1.605 million and 1.599 million bpd respectively, but still above the 1.550 million bpd quota.

Kazakhstan's biggest oilfields are developed mostly by Western oil majors such as ExxonMobil, Shell, Eni and TotalEnergies.

(Reuters - Reporting by Tamara Vaal and Reuters reporters in MoscowWriting by Olzhas AuyezovEditing by Kirsten Donovan, Louise Heavens and David Goodman)

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