Kolsky Bay tanker-terminal goes to work in Murmansk region

The Belokamenka Oil Terminal in Kolsky Bay will handle more than 2 million tonnes of oil this year, its general director, Ivan Ignatov, said Tuesday, a Rosbalt correspondent reported.

The terminal began accepting oil Tuesday. According to Ignatov, the oil was delivered from Arkhangelsk aboard three 17-tonne-deadweight tankers. The unloading was carried out under the supervision of the Arctic Sea Inspectorate. In future, once the terminal has been officially cleared for operations, movement of oil to the West will begin.

The agreement for the use of the tanker for oil storage in Kolsky Bay was signed in April 2003 during Rosneft President Sergey Bogdanchikov's visit to Murmansk. The Berge Pioneer (in Russian Belokamenka) is one of the world's largest tankers. It is 340 meters long and 65 meters wide. Rosneft obtained rights to it in a 20-year charter arrangement last year with the Norwegian firm, Bergesen D.Y. Shipping. It will have the right to buy it at the end of the period.

The Belokamenka is planned to be the hub of a new technological arrangement devised by Rosneft for the export of oil from Arkhangelsk. The vessel also is to be used for trans-shipping oil drawn from the Prirazlomnoye drill site in the Barents Sea (the site is being developed by Rosneft and Gazprom and is expected to begin producing in 2005). The project, in the view of the government of Murmansk Region, will assist regional development, create jobs and attract investment.

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