An Aframax tanker loaded with crude oil from the Whiffen Head terminal in eastern Canada is currently signalling its destination as Croatia’s Adriatic port of Omisalj.

The delivery would further diversify Canada’s customers in Europe, amid a growth in exports to the region so far this year.

The tanker Minerva Clara departed from Whiffen Head terminal, Newfoundland, in mid-August and is currently declaring its destination as Omisalj, where it can be expected to arrive at the beginning of September, Vortexa data show.

No Canadian crude export to this port was observed since at least the beginning of 2015.

The crude grade on board Minerva Clara is thought to be light sweet Hibernia, which has the largest field production among the offshore grades exported from Whiffen Head, which include White Rose, Terra Nova and the heavier grade, Hebron.

Flows to Europe rise 

The other Europe-bound shipment to load this month from Whiffen Head was aboard another Aframax tanker which already arrived in Bilbao, Spain.

Whiffen Head-loaded exports heading to Europe in the first seven months of this year are estimated at around 110,000 b/d, up sharply from around 30,000 b/d the same time last year.

Top buyers in the European region so far this year have been refiners in the UK, Italy, Spain and Netherlands, with smaller volumes heading elsewhere.

The increase in eastern Canadian crude flows to Europe comes amid a year-on-year reduction in arbitrage movements from Whiffen Head to Asia-Pacific, with only one shipment seen heading to China this year, compared with four to China and one to India last year. That said, heavy Canadian crude exports to Asia-Pacific that loaded from Vancouver have risen in 2018 compared with last year.