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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Russia Rakes in More Oil Revenue Than Ever – WSJ

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Mounting oil demand from some of the world’s biggest economies has helped Russia to export almost as much crude as it did before the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

On top of this, rising global crude prices, which have currently settled at around $100 a barrel, have sent Russia’s oil revenues skyrocketing.

“Russia is swimming in cash,” Elina Ribakova, the deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, told the journal, adding that the country earned $97 billion from oil and gas sales through July this year, with nearly $74 billion of that coming through sales of crude.

According to data from the International Energy Agency, Russia pumped 7.4 million barrels of crude and products such as diesel and gasoline into the global market each day in July alone. The figure is down only about 600,000 barrels per day since the start of the year.

Russian energy exports have been booming, as the nation managed to find “new buyers, new means of payment, new traders and new ways of financing exports,” the media outlet reports, citing oil traders, former Russian industry executives, and shipping officials.

“There came a realization that the world needs oil, and nobody’s brave enough to embargo 7.5 million barrels a day of Russian oil and oil products,” Sergey Vakulenko, an analyst and former Russian energy executive, said.

As soon as Western buyers and their Pacific allies opted to cut back imports of Russian oil, most of the volumes were redirected to Asia and the Middle East, where countries have decided not to take sides in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Indian companies went from near-zero Russian oil imports to almost a million barrels per day. State-owned Indian Oil signed a contract with Rosneft to lock in supplies until 2028.

“Russian oil will find its new way into India, China and other markets,” Evgeny Gribov, a former executive at Lukoil PJSC, said, as quoted by the media.

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