MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Railways railroad monopoly is considering increasing shipments of Siberian Light oil, which is much more expensive than Urals crude oil, to world markets.
The company said Thursday it had held a meeting to discuss the possibilities of making Russia's oil exports to European and Asian markets more effective.
Company experts said Russian exporters using inter-mode transportation methods (shipping oil by railroad or river to a Russian seaport and further on to a foreign port in tankers) encountered additional costs compared to oil pipeline transportation. However, exporting higher quality oil could make up for the additional costs, experts suggest.
The average price spread between Urals and Siberian Light oil is $30-$40 per metric ton. Therefore, exporting five million tons of "light" oil via such "individualized" schemes could bring $150-$200 million of extra annual revenues to the country, the company said.
Russian Railways and independent railroad carriers can deliver up to two million tons of oil and derivatives simultaneously and up to 60 million tons a year, nearly 25% of Russia's total exports.
The company said port facilities and approaches to Russia's Baltic Sea and Black Sea were an obstacle to the project. However, it said a considerable share of exports, up to 30 million tons, could be shipped via Russia's ports in the Far East, neighboring countries' seaports, and land routes to Europe, China, and other Asian Pacific countries.