First Russian oil from Arctic Sea due to reach Rotterdam on May 1

Some 550,000 barrels of Russian oil, extracted from deep beneath the Arctic Sea, are due to arrive in Rotterdam on May 1, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Russia last year seized a Greenpeace ship and arrested its 30-strong crew during protests about the drilling.

Greenpeace is based in the Netherlands and two of the crew were Dutch. They were arrested on piracy charges after attempting to stop the drilling but released under a political amnesty.

The Volkskrant says the first oil will be delivered to the Rotterdam spot market. Owner Gazprom says the oil tanker Mikhail Ulayanov will begin its journey from Murmansk to the Netherlands on Friday.

A majority of Dutch MPs at the beginning of this month backed a motion calling on the government to pressure Europe to impose a ban on the transport of Arctic oil. Shell also has plans to drill for oil above the Arctic circle.

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