HOUSTON/LONDON, Aug 16 (Reuters) - A second shipment of
crude from a U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore field has sailed for
Germany, according to vessel tracking data and trade sources on
Tuesday, as European refiners test potential replacements for
Europe is aiming to cut 90% of its Russian oil imports by
the end of this year. Refiners are expected to look to Norway,
the Middle East, the United States and West Africa for
alternative supplies, according to analysts.
The hunt for substitutes has led in two recent instances to
Mars, a U.S. sour grade similar to Russia's Urals.
The Ise Princess tanker loaded Mars Sour crude off the
Louisiana coast and is on its way to the Baltic Sea port of
Rostock, Germany, according to Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking and
The second ship of Mars crude in a month is carrying about
570,000 barrels and due in Rostock Aug. 30, shipping data
Shell, which operates the oilfield that produces
Mars crude, declined to comment.
Rostock connects via pipeline to two northern Germany oil
refineries - PCK in Schwedt and TotalEnergies in
The first tanker of Mars sour crude discharged in Rostock
earlier this month for the 233,000 barrel-per-day PCK Schwedt
refinery majority-owned by Russian state firm Rosneft,
with Shell and Eni holding minority stakes.
Rosneft last week warned that fuel prices in Germany would
likely jump if PCK replaces Russian oil with more expensive,
seaborne non-Russian barrels. It did not reply to a request for
a comment this week.
Both PCK's Schwedt and TotalEnergies' Leuna refineries have
received Russia's main crude grade, medium sour Urals, through
the Druzbha pipeline in compliance with EU sanctions.
Grades like Mars tend to produce more distillate fuels such
as diesel, jet fuel and gasoil, than gasoline. Germany depends
on Russia as a major source of diesel.
(Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston and Julia Payne in
London; Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in London and
Stephanie Kelly in New York
Editing by Marguerita Choy)