North-West Europe Crude Oil Exports On The Rise

Crude oil exports from Norway and the UK, i.e. North-West Europe have been on the rise this year. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “2023 so far has been another positive period for crude oil trade, despite the high oil prices and risks of economic recession. In Jan-Aug 2023, global crude oil loadings went up +7.0% y-o-y to 1,440.7 mln tonnes, excluding all cabotage trade, according to vessels tracking data from Refinitiv. This was well above the 1,346.5 mln tonnes in Jan-Aug 2022 and the 1,240.3 mln t of Jan-Aug 2021, but also slightly above the 1,397.3 mln tonnes in the same period of 2019. Exports from the Arabian Gulf were up +0.4% y-o-y to 581.0 mln t in JanAug 2023, and accounted for 40.3% of global seaborne crude oil trade”.

According to the shipbroker, “exports from Russia have also increased by +4.7% y-o-y to 154.8 mln tonnes, or 10.7% of global trade. Shipments from the USA surged by +19.9% y-o-y to 126.4 mln tonnes. From West Africa, exports increased by +0.5% y-o-y to 115.5 mln t. In terms of demand, seaborne imports into China increased by +23.0% y-o-y to 341.0 mln t in JanAug 2023, 23.6% of global trade”.

Source: Banchero Costa

Banchero Costa said that “North West Europe, i.e. Norway and the United Kingdom, accounted for 5.2 percent of global seaborne crude oil shipments in 2022. Crude oil shipments from Norway and the United Kingdom increased by +12.0% y-o-y in 2020 to 110.0 mln tonnes, excluding cabotage and offshore shuttle trade. In 2021, volumes remained substantially flat, with a -0.5% y-o-y decline to 109.5 mln tonnes. In 2022, exports from North West Europe declined by -1.9% y-o-y to 107.4 mln t, the lowest since 2019. In the first 8 months of 2023, NorthWest Europe exported 74.3 mln tonnes of crude, up +3.6% y-o-y from 71.7 mln tonnes in the same period of 2022. Exports were almost perfectly split between the two countries back in 2020. However, this is no longer the case and in 2022 Norway exported 68.9 mln tonnes whilst the UK exported just 38.5 mln tonnes”.

The shipbroker added that “the main crude oil export terminals in North West Europe are: Mongstad (26.5 mln tonnes loaded in Jan-Dec 2022), Sture (11.7 mln t), Hound Point (10.5 mln t), Gullfaks Platform (9.2 mln t), Teesport (6.8 mln t), Sullom Voe (4.3 mln t), Scapa Flow (3.7 mln t), Stratfjord Platform (3.1 mln t), Hanne Knutsen (2.9 mln t), Asgard A FPSO (2.7 mln t), Alvheim FPSO (2.5 mln t), Glen Lyon FPSO (2.0 mln t). In 2022, over 55% of crude exports from North West Europe were loaded on Aframax tonnage, with 34% loaded on Suezmaxes, and 9% on VLCCs”.

Source: Banchero Costa

“Trade patterns for Norwegian and British crude exports tend to be fairly short haul. About 16% of shipments, or 17.0 mln tonnes in 2022, are regional to other Norway/UK ports (mostly from offshore platforms to shore terminals), from where sometimes, but by no means always, they get reshipped to further destinations. The main destination for Norwegian and British crude oil is actually Continental Europe. In 2022, a total of 77.4 mln tonnes, or 72.0% of the total, was shipped to the European Union (27). This included the Netherlands (25.2 mln tonnes in 2022, Sweden (14.6 mln tonnes), Germany (10.5 mln tonnes), Poland (6.7 mln tonnes). In 2022, shipments to the EU27 increased by +19.9% y-o-y. Perhaps surprisingly, 6.1% of total shipments from Norway and the UK, or 6.6 mln tonnes in 2022, goes all the way to Mainland China. This is actually way down from a peak of 19.9 mln tonnes in 2020. Shipments from North West Europe to China declined by -56.5% y-o-y in 2022. Also, 1.3% of exports, or 1.4 mln tonnes in 2022, were shipped to South Korea. 0.8%, or 0.9 mln tonnes in 2022, was shipped to South East Asia”, Banchero Costa concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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