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Fujairah bunkering restarts as UAE port open despite more rain forecast: sources


Waves as high as 7 feet in Persian Gulf

Murban crude exported from Fujairah

  • Author
  • Claudia Carpenter    Nicholson Lim
  • Editor
  • Adithya Ram
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power Energy Transition Oil Shipping

Bunkering for ships calling at the UAE's Port of Fujairah has resumed and the port is open despite forecast for more unstable weather, sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights Jan. 26.

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Bunkering "has started but weather [is] not good so could be suspended again," a source said, asking not to be identified.

"Port operations continue as usual and necessary precautions are taken in case of worsening weather conditions," Martijn Heijboer, the port's business development manager, said by e-mail.

Disruptions spread to other ports such as in Sharjah at Khor Fakkan.

"Yes the weather is indeed quite rough in Sharjah and Khor Fakkan due to heavy rains and high swell, which is causing disruptions and delays to the supply schedules as our operations and management team seek to observe and maintain the safety of the vessels," said Ali Fathi, the founder of International Marine Energy, a UAE bunker supplier. The company's physical bunker sales at Sharjah Port Khalid, Sharjah Hamriyah and Khor Fakkan average about 80,000 mt/month, Fathi said.

The UAE 's National Center of Meteorology issued Jan. 26 a warning of winds with speeds of 40 km/hour and "rough sea at times" with waves as high as 7 feet in the Persian Gulf and waves as high as 6 feet offshore in the Oman Sea lasting until early Jan. 27. Fujairah is outside the Persian Gulf on the Oman Sea side.

Platts assessed marine fuel with 0.5% sulfur delivered to Fujairah unchanged at $675/mt Jan. 26 while the Singapore bunker price fell 0.1% to $690/mt, according to S&P Global data.

Sources said Jan. 25 that Fujairah's bunkering operations were suspended as the port faced "operational challenges" due to rain and wind.

Fujairah, the world's third-largest bunkering hub after Singapore and Rotterdam, is used to export Murban crude. It also has three refineries and storage tanks holding 19.988 million barrels of refined products such as naphtha, diesel and gasoline as of Jan. 23, according to Fujairah Oil Industry Zone data.

"Due to the ongoing heavy rain and high [sea] swells, many suppliers are still facing [operational] difficulties even though most deliveries resumed last night," a Fujairah-based trader said Jan. 26. Parcels nominated for bunker deliveries on Jan. 25 were tentatively postponed until later on Jan. 26, and the deliveries will take place "only if the weather improves," the trader said.