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Abu Dhabi crude to head to Europe, replace Russian oil - sources

·1-min read
The TotalEnergies logo sits on the company's headquarter skyscraper in the La Defense business district in Paris

By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -A shipping unit of France's TotalEnergies has provisionally chartered a tanker to load Abu Dhabi crude in early May for Europe, the first such shipment in two years, according to traders and a shipping report on Monday.

CSSSA, TotalEnergies' shipping arm, chartered suezmax tanker Moscow Spirit to load 1 million barrels of Murban crude from the port of Jebel Dhanna in the United Arab Emirates for Britain on May 1-3 at a worldscale rate of 60 points, the shipping report showed.

Abu Dhabi's Das crude was last loaded for Italy in May 2020, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

The arbitrage window for Middle East crude to head to Europe opened after European buyers shunned Russian oil following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, what it calls "a special operation".

More cargoes of Abu Dhabi crude grades - Murban, Das and Upper Zakum - are expected to head to Europe in the months to come to replace the Russian shortfall as the European Union prepares more sanctions on Russian oil imports, traders said, possibly diverting some supplies away from Asia.

The global trade flow is "readjusting" to reflect changes in Russian oil supplies, one trader said.

Russia is Europe's biggest oil supplier, providing 26% of EU imported oil in 2020.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Robert Birsel)

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