Development of Russian Oil Export Infrastructure: a Shipping Company's Perspective

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
International Business
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The objective of this research is to study and analyze the developments in the Russian oil export infrastructure that are most significant to an oil shipping company. It is vital for an oil shipping company to forecast and anticipate future development of the oil supply and the logistical network in order to provide them more time to engineer and order new ships, sell or scrap older ships, obtain financing, enter new alliances and partnerships, make strategic changes, etc. Modifying and modernizing a company’s fleet is a process that may take years, and a poor strategic decision can hurt even a larger player. This research addresses the changes in the logistical supply network of oil in Russia, focusing on ports and terminals. This study covers new projects as well as modernization of the existing infrastructure across the Russian Federation in a time span of approximately ten years. Understanding these developments and their significance will allow the case shipping company, Stena Bulk, to make the right strategic decisions to stay competitive in the changing Russian oil transport market. The empirical date for this research was gathered from interviews with a number of shipping industry experts. The experts included international shipping customers, oil producers, traders, shipbrokers, port agents, weather and ice specialists and others. In order to verify and triangulate information the author also collected data from informal events and secondary sources, including journals, press releases and news reports. The author has spent time at the case company’s offices and was given access to Stena Bulk’s network of contacts and resources. The author also attended a conference organized by Stena Bulk in St. Petersburg, Russia, which included visits to several oil terminals on the Baltic Sea. The collected data was categorized geographically and analyzed using a model created by the researcher. The terminals were then given rankings. The research concludes that the development of Russian oil export capacity will continue. Russia has established a number of major export terminals in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Far East, thus avoiding the transit states. Much of the future development is aimed at the northern and Arctic regions where untapped oil deposits both offshore and on the mainland are finally accessible due technological advances and know-how.
Russian oil export, tanker shipping, oil shipping, oil industry, Stena Bulk, oil terminals, shipping strategy
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