DRIVER: Prospects for bunker fuel availability in Europe and Africa
• ExxonMobil’s Antwerp refinery undergoes maintenance
• Gibraltar and Algeciras suffer from massive congestion
• Swedish dockers block Russian ships and cargo
Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has improved somewhat at the ARA and Strait of Gibraltar bunker centers this week, while HSFO remains relatively tighter, sources say. Recommended delivery time for VLSFO and LSMGO is 4-6 days, and HSFO is around 7-10 days.
ExxonMobil announced last week that its Antwerp refinery was undergoing maintenance. The company has not officially confirmed how long the maintenance will last, but traders expect it will take a month before the work is completed and production returns to normal. The refinery has a total design capacity of 320,000 bpd and produces fuel oil and gas oil for the local bunker market.
The refinery is entering a turnaround as Shell’s Pernis refinery in Rotterdam is already undergoing major maintenance, scheduled to last until June.
TotalEnergies announced this week that it will no longer conclude or renew contracts to purchase Russian oil and petroleum products, after several other European oil and gas companies phased out imports of Russian oil.
Shell, BP, Equinor, Galp, Repsol, ENI and others have made similar announcements since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began a month ago, moves that could impact production of their refineries.
ARA’s independent diesel inventories fell 2% last week and remain near recent multi-year lows, while fuel oil inventories remained roughly flat below their five-year average, data showed. Global Insights.
The availability of HSFO and LSMGO is limited in Hamburg, while VLSFO is normal. Demand has reportedly been sluggish in recent days. Recommended delivery times are approximately 3-5 days for VLSFO.
In the neighboring city of Bremerhaven, the availability of HSFO and VLSFO is better than that of LSMGO, which requires 4 to 5 days of lead time.
HSFO and LSMGO are “super tight” in most Italian ports. The tightening is largely due to the slowdown in Russian imports, which has also affected output at the local refinery, sources say. VLSFO availability is good in Genoa and fast deliveries are possible.
Availability of bunker fuel in Piraeus is normal, but deliveries could be affected due to barge availability. “Suppliers are able to find some way to deliver the fuel, but quick deliveries are difficult,” sources said. Recommended delivery times are approximately 5-7 days.
The Swedish Dockworkers’ Union has informed Ports of Sweden that its workers will not handle any ships or cargo from or to Russia in Swedish ports from March 28.
About 85% of Sweden’s heating oil imports come from Russia. Along with fuel oil imports from Norway (11%) and Finland (4%), Russian fuel oil supplemented Swedish domestic production of refining fuel oil as a by-product or as processed VLSFO.
Bunkering operations outside Gibraltar’s outer harbor limits were suspended on Wednesday morning due to heavy swells and high winds.
Likewise, the bunkering at the outer anchorages C and D of Algeciras is likely to be affected due to strong winds and swells, explains MH Bland. Bunkering operations are possible at the outer anchorages but are subject to the decisions of the harbor master and the barge operators.
The recent deterioration in weather conditions in Gibraltar and Algeciras will possibly aggravate the existing congestion. A total of 35 ships were waiting to refuel at the two ports on Wednesday.
All port operations are also suspended in the bay of Ceuta, specifies MH Bland. Two ships were waiting to refuel at the Ceuta anchorage on Wednesday, with three more ships expected to arrive throughout the day, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia.
Maersk announced on Tuesday that it has stopped accepting all export containers loaded at Ireland’s port of Dublin – Marine Terminal Ltd (MTL) as the terminal is overcrowded.
Source: ENGINE (https://engine.online/)