Added Aug 8, 2018

UAE diversifies condensate imports

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The Dubai government-owned Emirates National Oil Company’s (Enoc) Jebel Ali refinery looks set to further diversify its slate of condensate in August after drawing in cargoes from more unusual sources in recent weeks on the back of reduced Iranian intake.

Jebel Ali imported around 140,00 b/d of ultra-light oil feedstock in the first half of the year, almost wholly from Iran. This was pared back last month as the refinery took delivery of its first condensate cargoes in at least several years from the UAE’s fellow Opec members Algeria and Equatorial Guinea , aboard Aframax FPMC P Ideal and Panamax tanker Pike, respectively, Vortexa data show.

Enoc’s diversification of supply continues this month and next, as arrivals are currently expected from Equatorial Guinea and the US, as well as potentially from Australia and Russia. 

A cargo of Alba condensate from Equatorial Guinea’s Punta Europa terminal loaded onto the Aframax tanker Alpine Amalia and is due at Jebel Ali in mid-August.

From Australia, the Aframax Iasonas loaded at Ashburton port on western Australia’s northern coast and is heading to the UAE. After signalling Jebel Ali earlier in its journey it is now broadcasting Fujairah, while provisional shipping fixtures showed Enoc chartering this tanker to load 80,000t of condensate in early August.

Ashburton began exporting gas condensate from the Wheatstone LNG facility earlier this year, but previous observed shipments headed to Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile a US-loaded cargo arrived to Jebel Ali on 3 August aboard Aframax Bergina, and Aframax St. Helen is also currently pointing to Jebel Ali for estimated arrival on 10 September. 

Another unusual delivery in late August or early September could be off the Handymax tanker SCF Angara, which loaded its clean cargo from Russia’s Arctic Sabetta port in July and is currently signalling Jebel Ali. Gas condensate exports from the Yamal LNG complex began earlier this year, but previously remained in northwest Europe. 

Jebel Ali’s newer sources of condensate coincide with its lower Iranian intake in recent weeks, likely as the reimposition of US-led sanctions on Iran loomed, while Iran also may be consuming more domestically at its Persian Gulf Star refinery. The Suezmax Salina loaded a cargo of Iranian South Pars condensate on 24 July but is still sitting laden offshore Dubai, while Felicity loaded from Iran this month and is now signalling its destination as Jebel Ali.

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