MOSCOW—Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa was set to receive its first ever WTI oil cargo from the United States, according to industry sources and shipping data, just a month after the front-month futures for the blend turned negative.
WTI May crude futures sank to minus $38/bbl on April 20, just days before their expiration, in a quirky trading pattern never seen before, amid overproduction and lack of storage capacity inflicted by the coronavirus-battling restrictions.
On May 21, the front-month WTI futures were trading at above $34 a barrel.
Industry sources said that the UMLMA tanker has shipped in BP’s 80,000-tonnes cargo for further delivery to the Kremenchug refinery of Ukrtatnafta. The value has not been disclosed.
Kiev has moved to diversify its energy supplies from its ex-Soviet master, Russia, following Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and subsequent flair-up of pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
The country stopped buying Russian natural gas in November 2015.
Odessa last received an oil cargo from the United States, the Bakken crude blend, in March.
Devon Energy had been actively shopping the Permian Basin assets, and others in the Rockies, the past several months.
A big crowd turned out for an afternoon honoring industry leaders representing all facets of the energy sector.
Oil major Exxon Mobil said Jan. 31 it would create three new separate E&P companies, effective April 1, in an effort to double its profit by 2025.