Almost All of Russia's Oil Exports Go to China and India

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ten data blog04-01-2024

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Almost all of Russia's oil exports this year are destined for China and India, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday, after Moscow quickly shifted supplies away from Europe in response to Western economic sanctions.

Russia has successfully circumvented sanctions on its oil and shifted oil flows from Europe to China and India, which together account for about 90 percent of its crude exports, Novak, the head of Russia's energy sector, told Rossiya-24 state television.

He said Russia had begun building relationships with Asia-Pacific countries even before Western sanctions were imposed on Moscow in February 2022 after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.

Novak said, "As for the restrictions and embargoes imposed on supplies from Europe and the United States ...... this only accelerates the process of redirecting our energy flows."

He said Europe's share of Russian crude oil exports had fallen from about 40-45 percent to only about 4-5 %

"The main partners in the current situation are China, whose share has grown to about 45-50%, and, of course, India ...... previously there were basically no supplies to India; within two years, the share of total supplies to India has reached 40%," Novak said.

When it comes to the OPEC+ group of major oil-producing countries, Novak said Russia will abide by its production cut obligations and expects the price of Brent crude to reach $80-85 a barrel next year, basically in line with current levels.

The U.S. also announced sanctions last month on Arctic LNG 2, a liquefied natural gas project led by Russia's Novatek (NVTK.MM).

Foreign shareholders suspended their participation in the project and abdicated their responsibility for financing and offtake contracts for the plant for fear of a strong reaction triggered by the sanctions, Kommersant reported on Monday.

Industry sources told Reuters last week that the sanctions also led Novatek to declare force majeure on the project's LNG supply.

Novatek said the project's first production line has actually begun to produce LNG and is expected to provide first supplies in the first quarter of 2024.

Industry sources said the train had produced the "first drops" of LNG, but that it would take some time to reach the nameplate capacity of 6.6 million tons per year.

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