Tanker markets are starting to feel the ripple effects from contamination issues at Russia’s Druzhba oil pipeline, one of the world’s largest by capacity and length.

Incremental aframax and suezmax demand has emerged as the buyers of Russian crude scramble to store contaminated oil and seek alternative suppliers.

But the longer-term market impact remains uncertain if supply issues at the world’s second-largest crude-exporting nation persist, according to industry officials.

The disruption in flows to the pipeline should be positive for tankers as refiners will need to draw down on stocks and/or increase seaborne imports from alternative sources where possible

Tim Smith of MSI

The impact is mixed for crude tanker markets and that “impact could spill into clean tanker markets”, Alphatanker said.