A foreign flag tanker is due to load a cargo of Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude next week for the first time in more than 30 years.
Tanker Investments’ Bahamas-flagged Suezmax ‘Tianlong Spirit’, is due to load a 136,000-tonne cargo around 25th July from Alaska bound for the Far East, according to Bloomberg.
“This would be the first time since the mid-1980s that a foreign-flagged ship would have loaded ANS crude for shipment,” David St Amand, president of Navigistics Consulting in Boxborough, Massachusetts, told Bloomberg.
When the US changed the law, which restricted most domestic crude exports, the end of a ban on foreign-flagged tankers shipping crude from Alaska was included. That opened markets in Asia and Europe to US oil, offering Alaskan producers another destination besides the US West Coast.
“BP chartered a foreign flag vessel for the transport of ANS crude for commercial and operational reasons,” BP spokeswoman Dawn Patience said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “BP will receive all the needed approvals from the State of Alaska and USCG before sailing.”
Since the 40-year ban was lifted late last year, there has been one ANS crude export. BP delivered 1 mill barrels of ANS crude to JX Nippon in Japan last June, using a US-flagged tanker, Bloomberg said.