Refiner Reliance has purchased a Very Large Crude Carrier of mixed Egyptian crudes, draining Israel's Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline and setting the stage for exports of Russian Urals to Asia, traders said on Tuesday.
Reliance bought the oil from trader Arcadia which earlier this month won a tender to swap crude remaining in the pipeline for an unspecified quantity of Russia's Urals crude.
"Reliance got a mix of Egyptian crudes including Gulf of Suez and Belayim and others that were left in the pipeline," one trader said. "They are now clearing the line of Egyptian crude and substituting it for Urals for future export into Asia."
Price details were not revealed and Reliance was not available for comment. Shipping sources said Arcadia had chartered the Seacross 11 VLCC from Israel to India for July 18.
Traders said the pipeline had contained some 184,000 tonnes (1.34 million barrels) of Egyptian crude and it was unclear if Reliance had been given an additional cargo of Egyptian or had received Urals to fill the two million barrel VLCC.
The Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline has a capacity of 1.2 million barrels and was previously used to move Egyptian oil into Israel.
The pipeline's direction is now being reversed to enable shipping Russian crude from the Mediterranean to Asian markets.