March 16, 2012 / 5:26 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Russia Baltic oil exports to soar in Q2 -traders

* Seaborne volumes to rise at expense of Druzhba deliveries

* Ust-Luga appears on loading schedule for first time

* New terminal seen handling 3.6 mln tonnes in Q2 (Adds volumes from Primorsk, Ust-Luga, Novorossiisk, and expected flows to Germany and Poland)

MOSCOW, March 16 (Reuters) - The launch of Russia’s new Baltic Sea oil terminal at Ust-Luga threatens to redirect large flows of oil from central European refineries to the seaborne crude markets of northwest Europe, traders said on Friday.

Citing Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft’s preliminary export schedule for the second quarter of 2012, traders said seaborne exports via Russian Baltic ports would rise 23.5 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Ust-Luga, which was scheduled for launch in December until a series of landslides demolished the quay wall, necessitating months of repairs, is expected to handle 3.6 million tonnes of crude in the second quarter, traders said.

It has had several false starts since the landslides, but this week Russian oil producer Surgutneftegaz tendered to sell a 100,000 tonne Urals cargo for lifting next week, signalling another attempted launch is imminent.

In addition to the launch of Ust-Luga, loadings at Primorsk, another relatively new Baltic Sea terminal, will also rise slightly to 18 million tonnes from 17.5 million in the first quarter, including volumes from Russia and other producing countries.

Russia is the world’s top oil producer, but unlike second-ranked Saudi Arabia has little or no spare capacity and is struggling to keep production growing at even a modest pace. It has little extra oil to cover new export destinations.

It appears reluctant to cut seaborne volumes from other ports, however.

Based on the preliminary schedule, which has yet to be agreed by Russia’s major exporters, loadings in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, the main outlet for Mediterranean destinations, will be flat quarter-on-quarter at 10.7 million tonnes.

Instead, the volumes will be redirected from inland refiners in central and Eastern Europe, which receive crude through the Soviet-built Druzhba (“Friendship”) pipeline.

Under the preliminary schedule, deliveries to Germany via the Druzhba pipeline would fall 12.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to 5.5 million tonnes, while Poland’s oil intake via Druzhba would fall 18.5 percent to 4.8 million tonnes, traders said. (Reporting by Gleb Gorodyankin; Writing by Melissa Akin; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Jane Baird)

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