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ConocoPhillips VLCC leaves Orkneys for Chile

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, June 4 -- A very large crude carrier (VLCC), after spending 3 months as a floating storage unit, sailed from the Scapa Flow in Scotland's Orkney Islands bound for Chile with a load of North Sea Ekofisk crude.

The Orkney Islands Council Department of Harbours said the Malaysian-registered Bunga Kasturi Dua, carrying 2 million bbl of crude oil, anchored in Scapa Flow on Feb. 14, chartered by ConocoPhillips.

The departure of the VLCC "leaves the Abqaiq and the Maersk Neptune still at anchor in Scapa Flow, storing between them just under 4 million bbl of Forties Crude," the council said.

In May, the council said that a recent ship-to-ship transfer between the Leander and the Front Shanghai, which saw 2 million bbl of crude transferred, brought the total amount of oil transferred this year to just more than 10 million bbl.

Oil stored in Scapa Flow is part of 20 million bbl of North Sea oil currently stored in Europe on supertankers, creating a readily available source of supply that has helped keep a lid on North Sea crude benchmark prices (OGJ, Mar. 2, 2009).

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