British oil company BP Plc has loaded a cargo of Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude for export, according to two trade sources and Reuters Trade Flows data, the latest indication that exports of Alaskan crude are becoming less rare.
The crude loaded on the Cascade Spirit, a Bahamas-flagged Suezmax tanker. While its destination was not immediately clear, the vessel is currently moving in the North Pacific Ocean towards Asia, according to Reuters Vessel Tracking data.
A spokeswoman for BP declined to comment on the cargo.
In July, BP confirmed it had chartered the Tianlong Spirit, another Bahamas-flagged Suezmax ship, for the export of Alaskan North Slope crude.
ANS is almost exclusively transported to refineries on the U.S. West Coast using U.S. flagged vessels owned by BP, ConocoPhillips (COP)
and Exxon Mobil (XOM)
that comply with domestic maritime laws.
The flurry of ANS exports this year, which include a small shipment to Nicaragua and two vessels to Asia, underscores a shift underway in global trade flows, as producers of Alaskan North Slope crude eye new markets for their oil.
ANS had been excluded from the decades-long ban on exporting U.S. crude, which was lifted in December 2015.
(Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bernard Orr)