Caspian Pipeline Consortium resumes oil loadings at Black Sea terminal

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), a main export route for Kazakhstan’s crude oil, said on Thursday it has resumed oil loadings at its Black Sea terminal which had been suspended due to storms, disrupting exports since last Friday.

It said one of three single point moorings (SPM) at the terminal had been damaged, and oil was being loaded via SPM 1 and SPM 2.Malfunctioning SPMs also led to oil export disruption from CPC’s Black Sea terminal last year.

Oil exports via CPC are expected to rise in December to 5.6 million metric tons from 5.4 million tons in the November plan, said three traders familiar with the export plan.

Russia exports its oil from the Black Sea terminal of Sheskharis, near Novorossiisk, while CPC, handling around 1% of global oil, ships oil from the nearby terminal of Yuzhnaya Ozereevka.

It was not immediately clear if supplies via Sheskharis have also been resumed.

Severe storms in the Black Sea region have disrupted up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports from Kazakhstan and Russia since last Friday.

“In the northern part of the Black Sea, unfavourable hydrometeorological conditions remain. In this regard, navigation restrictions continue to apply in the main seaports of Russia in the Black Sea basin until the weather improves,” the ministry of transport said earlier on Thursday.

Separately, the Russian Federal Agency for Sea and Inland Water Transport (Rosmorrechflot) said that ferries across the Kerch Strait, which separates Russia from Crimea at the mouth of the Azov Sea, had resumed operations on Thursday morning.

Black Sea terminals, including the ports of Novorossiisk and Taman, also handle about 70% of Russia’s grain exports.

Kazakhstan’s three largest oilfields cut their combined daily output by 103,800 metric tons on Wednesday because of the disruption to shipping in the Black Sea, according to the energy ministry.

Production was down 67% at the Tengiz field, 65% at the Kashagan field and 34% at the Karachaganak field, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)