OREANDA-NEWS. Two cargoes of North Sea crude have embarked on relatively rare voyages, one to the US Gulf coast and one to the Mediterranean.

The 600,000 bl Hydra departed from Scapa Flow, Scotland, for St. James, Louisiana, over the weekend, having received its cargo of North Sea heavy sour Captain crude in a ship-to-ship transfer from the similarly-sized Amundsen Spirit some days before. The Hydra arrived at Scapa flow from Gibraltar, while the Amundsen Spirit arrived from the Captain oil field.

Captain crude has a gravity of around 19°API and 0.7pc sulphur content.

Captain crude last made the transatlantic voyage in late March, when the Aframax Minerva Alice received a cargo of the grade via ship-to-ship transfer at Scapa Flow, before signalling for New Orleans.

The flow of North Sea crude across the Atlantic Ocean has been relatively flat so far this year compared with last, but volumes are higher than in years prior to that as the price differential between WTI and Brent has narrowed.

Meanwhile, a cargo of Norwegian crude is headed to Italy. Vessel tracking indicates the Suezmax Marika is carrying a 140,000t shipment of Norwegian crude from Mongstad to Sarroch, Italy.