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Russian pipeline operator Transneft says it will keep pumping low-sulphur Siberian Light to the Black Sea port of Tuapse. The government announced last week that separate transportation of Siberian Light would end from 1 April (FSUE, 28 March, p1).
It had been expected that Tuapse--the main outlet for Siberian Light--would, from this month, start exporting Urals with sulphur content of about 1pc. But the change in the sulphur content of crude emerging at Tuapse has turned out to be smaller than expected. "It will be 0.65pc--you can call it Siberian Light," says Transneft spokesman Sergei Grigoryev.
Ending separate Siberian Light shipments was supposed to allow Russia to boost crude exports by as much as 300,000 b/d. Grigoryev says exports are still set to rise, but only by around 140,000 b/d. He declines to comment on whether the quality of crude emerging from Tuapse will change later this year.
But traders do not expect to see any significant change. "It looks like Transneft has found a way to boost pipeline capacity that does not hurt Siberian Light exports," says one. "I hear there will be no switch to …