Sanctioned Russian oil reaching US, Europe via India: report

08 Sep 2022


The United States and its Nato allies have stopped importing oil from Russia and are on way to phase out all gas imports as well. But market analysts believe that Russian oil is likely making its way to the US and other countries that have sanctioned Moscow, says a report in Petro-Logistics. 

The reason, according to the report, is that Indian imports of Russian crude have increased several fold as the war in Ukraine pushed up oil prices elsewhere.
Indian refiners started taking advantage of discounted barrels that were shunned by the West.
India's exports of oil products have also increased simultaneously, and part of these must have come from Russian crude, the report points out.
India is estimated to have imported 583,000 barrels per day of Russian crude on an average from April to June, compared to  36,000 bpd in 2021. Meanwhile, India's exports of oil products have increased.
While exact data is not available, the report  pointed out that it is certain that the refinery  products being imported by the US and others definitely are obtained from Russian crude.
Petro-Logistics estimates that at least 37 per cent, or about 113,000 barrels per day, of the crude from Russia might have gone to countries with some form of sanctions on Russia.  
"We have taken the ratio of Russian crude imports versus the runs of the specific refiners who imported the crude and applied those percentages to their product exports since the war. This yields an estimate of 308 kb/d of Indian product exports possibly attributable Russian crude oil inputs," Petro-Logistics said. 
The US has completely banned Russian oil, while others have enacted sanctions without directly banning Moscow's oil. Of the countries with sanctions, South Korea imported 31,000 bpd, Singapore 23,000 bpd, and the US 15,000 bpd. Australia and several European countries were also among the top importers of Russian oil products.
The US mostly imported gasoline as it often brings in summer-grade Indian blends for peak driving season, according to Petro-Logistics.
"It is very difficult in practical terms to identify if precise oil molecules from Russia are landing in sanctioning countries. However, because of the fungible nature of oil, the data can at least show where Indian refiners who have Russian crude in their feedstock mix are sending their products," the report said.

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