A buildup of Saudi crude oil offshore Egypt’s Red Sea terminal of Ain Sukhna over the past few weeks has begun to ease. As much as 24mn barrels of Saudi crude was stuck on 12 VLCC tankers offshore Ain Sukhna in mid-June, but this has since dropped to 16mn barrels as MEES went to press. The buildup is the latest manifestation of market disruption following the Ukraine conflict, which has pushed global trade patterns into a state of flux.

Ain Sukhna is the Red Sea terminus for the Sumed pipeline system which connects to the Mediterranean terminal of Sidi Kerir (see map). Fully laden VLCCs are unable to transit the Suez Canal and can instead offload cargoes at Ain Sukhna to be collected at Sidi Kerir for onwards shipment to Europe or the Americas. Sumed is operated by the Arab Petroleum Pipeline Company venture of Egyptian state firm EGPC (50%), Saudi Aramco (15%), the UAE’s Mubadala (15%), a Kuwaiti consortium led by the Kuwait Investment Authority (15%) and QatarEnergy (5%). (CONTINUED - 1019 WORDS)