The facilities for handling and storing crude oil in the port of Rotterdam are being further expanded. At Shell Europoort, the jetty has been adapted to handle ships with an even deeper draught. Following the Maasvlakte Oil Terminal (MOT), where three new tanks went into use at the end of 2011, Maatschap Europoort Terminal (MET) is now also expanding its tank capacity. The extra tank capacity is not particularly related to an increase in supply, but gives the refineries greater flexibility, which makes them more competitive. As the extraction/production of North Sea oil is declining, crude oil will be brought in from still other areas in the future. These different types will be blended to specifications at MET.
Shell Europoort: jetty
Last week, the deepened berth at Shell jetty 104 in the Beneluxhaven was completed. The ‘pocket’ for the jetty (an area of 400 m x 80 m) was recently deepened by 2 metres to -23.65 m NAP. The bottom depth here is now identical to that of the MOT jetties.
The navigation path to the jetty has been dredged by 0.5 metres to -22.15 m NAP. This means that Shell can accommodate the very largest oil tankers, with a draught of 22 metres, allowing for more than 30,000 tonnes more crude oil per ship.
The expansion of the tank capacity at MET involves two 105,000 m3 tanks. The first became operational at the end of 2012 and the second will follow in May. There is room on the site for one more tank, about which no decision has yet been made. Capacity following the current expansion will be 1.6 million m3 in 21 tanks. Around 16 million tonnes of crude oil a year arrive at MET. Almost all of this oil is pumped on to the Total refineries in Antwerp and Ruhr Oel, owned by BP and the Russian Rosneft, in Gelsenkirchen.
Supplies of crude
In the past 10 years, supplies of crude oil have fluctuated between 92 and 102 million tonnes (98 million in 2012). During this period, the proportion of ‘North Sea oil’ fell from over 40 million tonnes to less than 20 million tonnes. Since 2003, most crude oil has come from Russia. In 2012, ‘liquid bulk’, which includes crude oil, made up almost 50% of throughput in the port of Rotterdam.