Sea exports of Russian crude via Black Sea to grow despite embargo in January 2023 — BlackSeaNews

31 January, 01:34 PM
Oil tanker, illustrative photo (Photo:Vesselfinder)

Oil tanker, illustrative photo (Photo:Vesselfinder)

Russia’s seaborne oil flows look as if they are moving higher in January 2023, the BlackSeaNews news portal wrote on Jan. 29, quoting the monitoring group of the Institute of Black Sea Strategic Studies.

According to preliminary estimates by experts, sea exports of Russian crude oil from the Black Sea in January 2023 will increase significantly.

“Russia has already lost its key European market for crude and is about to do the same for refined products — an EU import ban is due to come into force on Feb. 5,” U.S. news agency Bloomberg wrote on Jan. 30.

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According to analysts, the growth will be from 15% to 35%, and the volume of exports will be from 3.4 to 4.2 million tons instead of 2.9 million tons in December 2022 – depending on how many tankers with Russian crude oil pass through the Bosporus Strait in the last days of the month.

This is more than the growth of Russian crude oil exports from the Black Sea ports, which took place in December 2022 — the first month of the introduction of the EU embargo and the price cap on oil, which amounted to 14.4%.

This increase was fueled by exports to India.

“While Russian oil companies have successfully diverted crude shunned by traditional European customers to willing new buyers, predominantly in India, it is unclear yet whether they will find it so easy to redirect refined products to markets that are well supplied from their own refineries,” Bloomberg wrote.

On relatively small volumes of crude oil exports from the Black Sea, Russia managed in December 2022 to replace 2/3 of the Greek tankers that previously transported Russian oil to countries other than the EU with ships from non-European countries.

It is noted that in December 2022, 24.7% of this oil was subject to the price cap, respectively, 75.3% of oil did not fall within the scope of the restriction, as it was transported by tankers that did not belong to carriers from the European Union.

In December 2022, the decrease in the export of "marine" crude oil of the Russian Federation from the Black Sea to the countries of the European Union almost did not occur despite the beginning of the embargo, BlackSeaNews noted.

Since the introduction of the price embargo on Russian oil, 10 tankers with Russian crude oil have left the Black Sea for countries other than the EU.

For relatively small volumes of crude oil exports from the Black Sea, the Russian Federation was able to replace 2/3 of Greek tankers with vessels from other countries in December 2022. Among these tankers were recorded vessels that can be accurately classified as “gray fleet”.

In October of last year, Bloomberg wrote that a “vast shadow fleet of tankers with unknown owners is being amassed to service Moscow’s interests. Intense US-led diplomatic wrangling to soften aggressive European Union sanctions has been going on for months but time is ticking.”

Already in January, the agency wrote that transshipment of Russian Urals oil into the sea reached record values after the introduction of a maximum price for it.

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