Helga Spirit: Teekay tanker loads BP ESPO crude

BP fixes cargo of ESPO crude for US West Coast Helga Spirit would load at Kozmino Jan. 20 Fixture comes as Alaska pipe snag threatens USWC

Crude in storage in Alaska's Valdez terminal has dwindled to below 20 percent of tank capacity
BP Plc fixed a tanker cargo of Russia's ESPO crude for shipment to the U.S. West Coast after a shutdown of Alaska's main oil pipeline prompted some oil companies to look at foreign crude substitutes.

BP was said to fix the 115,000 deadweight ton Helga Spirit tanker to load Eastern Siberian pipeline crude on Jan. 20, two shipping sources said.

The tanker would hold around 850,000 barrels of ESPO,. Helga Spirit was last seen moored in southern Japan . ESPO loads at Kozmino Port, near Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.

The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), which normally ships around 640,000 barrels per day -- or 12 percent of U.S. oil output -- was closed for 84 hours this week, temporarily shutting in most of Alaska's oil production. The closure followed a small leak discovered on Jan. 8.

Concerns about potential supply shortfalls from Alaska had U.S. West Coast refiners on their feet this week, looking at cargoes that could substitute Alaska North Slope crude if the pipeline problems persisted.

BP, which is also the top producer in Alaska and the top stakeholder in TAPS, has about 500,000 barrels a day of refining capacity on the U.S. West Coast, including in Washington and California.

Several Aframax cargoes of ESPO have been sent to the U.S. West Coast (USWC) before. BP is not known to charter regular shipments to the region but has typically fixed ESPO cargoes for delivery to Japan or Korea.

TAPS resumed shipments on an emergency basis on Tuesday, but is expected to shut down again over the weekend as operator Alyeska installs a bypass pipe around the leak. That process could take a few days, Alyeska said, after which TAPS is expected to resume normal shipments.
It takes around 15 days to ship crude between Kozmino and Los Angeles.

IMO: 9292503 MMSI: 311727000
Callsign: C6FZ3
Flag: Bahamas

Flag: Bahamas Signal Letters: C6FZ3

Owner: Helga Spirit L.L.C GT (ITC 69): 62,929 NT (ITC 69): 34,548
Manager: TeeKay Shipping (Glasgow) Ltd. DWT: 115,514

DocHolder: Teekay Shipping Limited
Year of Build: 2005
Type: 101 - Tanker for Oil

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