The German flagged ship ‘Seacod’ understood to be carrying a cargo of Russian crude oil from the port of Primorsk, Leningrad Oblast, has berthed Tranmere Oil Terminal.
The Seacod (pictured above in the Mersey this morning) left Primorsk for Tranmere Oil Terminal on 22 February, before Vladimir Putin sent the Russian troops to invade Ukraine.
The tanker was due to arrive at Tranmere Oil Terminal at 12:00UTC yesterday, but was at anchor in Liverpool Bay overnight until departing for Tranmere this morning.
The tanker was reported by vesselfinder.com as arriving at 11:36am/UTC and being moored at the South Berth at Tranmere Oil Terminal at 12:42pm/UTC.
On 28 February, Transport Secretary Grant Schapps wrote to all UK ports asking them not to provide access to any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered, or operated vessels. However, there was some ambiguity regarding Russian cargoes.
The decision was made as many Russian oil ships were docked at various ports across the UK waiting to be offloaded.
On Tuesday, this ban was reinforced when a law was passed involving a total ban on all ships with any Russian connection. This means that the Seacod with its Russian cargo of oil should have been refused at the Essar owned Tranmere Oil Terminal.
The Tranmere Oil Terminal is owned by Essar Energy and operated by Essar Oil UK. On 1 March, birkenhead.news contacted Essar to ask for a statement on the matter, but at the time of publication of this article has yet to receive a response.
Nine million tonnes of crude oil arrives at Tranmere Oil Terminal each year.
There are two berths (Tranmere North and South) used to unload the oil to storage tanks within the terminal, after which it is pumped 15 miles by pipeline to the Stanlow refinery (also owned and operated by Essar.)
There are also monthly import cargoes of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD). The Tranmere Oil Terminal handles a total of 140 ships each year.
Primorsk is the site of the largest Baltic Sea oil terminal. In 2006, it was Russia’s largest crude oil port, exporting 5,863,000 metric tons of crude oil.
Russian oil makes up about 8% of global supply and the cost of gas and crude oil surged today, increasing the chance of further price rises at UK forecourts and higher household energy bills.
The global benchmark for oil prices, ‘Brent crude’ hit $116 a barrel at the time of writing, its highest level since June 2014.