Experts on the prospects of the Vostok Oil project


Ambitious plans to increase cargo transportation along the Northern Sea Route from 34 million to 150 million tons by 2030 are beginning to be adjusted. As Kommersant found out, the assessment of cargo traffic by 2030 prepared by the Ministry of Eastern Development provides, in addition to an optimistic scenario with transportation volumes of 244 million tons, also a basic and conservative one. In the latter case (117 million tons), we are talking about the cancellation of a number of future NOVATEK LNG projects, as well as a shift in the timing of the Rosneft project reaching full capacity. "Vostok Oil".
According to the head of the consulting center "Gekon" Mikhail Grigoriev, the conservative scenario looks the most plausible. For example, in 2024, shipments from Arctic LNG-2 is indicated at 8 million tons, but the first stage of the project will reach full capacity in the first quarter of 2024, so it makes more sense to take into account no more than 6.6 million tons. Vostok Oil, according to a conservative scenario, will ship 18 million tons in 2025, which indicates that the fields of the Vankor group will by this time be connected by pipeline to the terminal in Sever Bay. However, the expert notes, the construction of the first Arc7 ice-class tanker for this project is planned for December 2024, the second and third — for March and June 2025. These ships will not be enough to export oil even on the shortest leg — to Murmansk. Construction at DCSS "Zvezda" vessels of the Aframax series of 114 thousand tons have, according to the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, ice class Ice3 (IB) (class Arc4 - IA - indicated only for the hull), therefore, according to the rules of navigation in the waters of the Northern Sea Route, they will be able to operate only during the period from July 1 to November 15. The expert also notes the lack of information on the progress of construction of the port fleet for Vostok Oil. and the Arctic LNG-2 project, including for LNG transshipment points in Murmansk and Kamchatka.
Mikhail Grigoriev believes that the volume of transit cargo in 2024 could be at least 2 million tons, primarily oil from Murmansk and Baltic ports. “A conflict of “double counting” arises associated with the export of oil from the Novoportovskoye field to the east via the NSR from the transshipment site in Murmansk: first, the oil is taken into account in cabotage shipments to Murmansk, and then, when transported to the east, it is taken into account in exports,”&rdash; says the expert. At the same time, in his opinion, the decrease in traffic volumes and their obvious orientation in a western direction will somewhat reduce the severity of the problem of icebreaker support in the coming years.


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