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Russia to halt oil product export via Baltic ports by 2018

Staff Writer |
Russia will halt export of oil products via Baltic ports by 2018, Russian oil pipeline company Transneft President Nikolay Tokarev said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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"If about 9 million tons of oil products were transhipped there [via the Baltic countries] last year, then this year - about 5 million tons. By 2018, in the coming years, we will reduce freight flow to the Baltic region to zero," said Tokarev, explaining that Transneft would use Russian ports instead.

"According to government instructions, we have reoriented freight flow from the Baltic ports, Ventspils and Riga, to our ports at the Baltic - Ust-Luga and Novorossiysk," said Tokarev.

Part of the oil pipelines currently not used for shipping oil will be used for oil product shipments, explained Tokarev.

Tokarev went on to say that Transneft was planning to increase oil transportation through oil pipelines in 2016. "This year we are planning to transport 483 million tons of oil. This is 1.5 million tons more than last year. Of this amount, 238 million tons will be exported, and 244 million tons will be shipped for domestic consumption," said Tokarev.

Latvia's state-owned railway company Latvijas Dzelzcels is getting ready for Russia's plans to stop the oil product export via Baltic ports by 2018, the company's board chairman Edvins Berzins said in an interview with the public Latvian television on Tuesday.

He said that Russia's plans had been known already a while ago, therefore Latvijas Dzelzcels is working actively to replace these cargos.

He said that Russia's plans to halt oil product exports via Baltic ports are not related with politics but with the fact that Russia has been investing in its ports in the past years and the investments should return. According to his estimates, Latvijas Dzelzcels might lose up to ten million tons of cargos.

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