Fujairah benefits from the rise in Russian crude transiting to the storage and bunkering hub

The port of Fujairah on the east coast of the United Arab Emirates is benefiting from an increase in Russian crude passing through the facility en route to Asia, the port’s chief executive said on June 30, as Moscow sells more oil to countries like India and China.

“Russian crude started to come through the port because its market changed,” Capt. Mousa Murad told S&P Global Commodity Insights in an interview in Fujairah. “Part of the crude is stored before being sent to the Asian market, mainly India. This is a new development from March. It is expected to increase. »

Russian crude accounted for 2% of overall crude imports to Fujairah in 2021 and 11% of the total in the first half of 2022, according to port data.

Russia sent 36% of its crude exports of 4.99 million bpd to India and China in June, according to shipment data from Kpler. That’s up from 19% in February, the month the war started.

India imported just 38,000 bpd of Russian crude in February, compared to 690,000 bpd in June, according to Kpler data.

Russian trading companies have also started visiting the port, Murad said, without naming them, to examine the facilities there.

Aramco Trading Co., a branch of Saudi Aramco that is expanding its operations globally, has an office in Fujairah which opened in 2019.

Gross ambitions
Fujairah has grown rapidly over the past two decades to become the third largest bunker port in the world, after Singapore and Rotterdam.

Ship fuel sales at Fujairah Port soared 11.45% on the month to the second highest on record in May, according to data from the Fujairah Petroleum Industry Zone published on its website.

Total bunker volumes climbed to 746,777 m3, the most since the October 2021 record of 782,060 m3, according to data compiled by S&P Global.

However, Fujairah, one of the seven members of the UAE federation, expects to attract an increase in crude trading and storage in the future in addition to its current petroleum products business, which currently represents the majority of port activity.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., the largest energy producer in the United Arab Emirates, is building underground caverns that will hold 42 million barrels of crude.

When completed, it will enhance Fujairah’s status as a regional trading hub, as the caverns will be able to store three different grades of crude, giving ADNOC more flexibility to export oil through the port.
Source: Platts