Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States imposed outright bans on Russian oil purchases following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but 27 members of the Union European remain divided.
Poland and the Baltic states are in favor of the restrictions, but Germany has warned against moves that could further increase energy prices and cause an economic downturn, while Hungary is against.
An EU embargo would require the unanimous approval of all 27 member states.
As political discussions continue, many buyers in Europe are intentionally avoiding Russian rough to avoid reputational damage or possible legal difficulties.
Germany has already reduced its exposure to Russian energy supplies, with Russian oil accounting for 25% of total imports, down from 35% before the invasion, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Friday, March 25.
Germany’s economy ministry wants the country’s dependence on Russian oil to be halved by summer, The Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.
India and China, which have refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, could, however, increase production of refined products in the short to medium term by importing more Russian barrels, analysts said.
The following list identifies the main buyers of Russian crude:
The Bulgarian refinery, owned by the Russian Lukoil, and whose Russian crude represents around 60% of its total supply, continues to refine Russian crude.
Russian crude continues to account for around 14% of the input from Germany’s largest refinery, Miro, which is 24% owned by Rosneft.
The German refinery, 54% owned by Rosneft, receives crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
The landlocked Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, majority-owned by TotalEnergies, is also supplied with Russian crude through the Druzhba pipeline.
Greece’s largest oil refiner depends on Russian crude for around 15% of its consumption. Earlier this month, the company secured additional supplies from Saudi Arabia.
Italy’s largest refinery, owned by Swiss company Litasco SA controlled by Lukoil, processes Russian and non-Russian crudes.
The Hungarian oil group, which operates three refineries in Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia, continues to be supplied by the Druzhba pipeline. Hungary opposes sanctions against Russian oil and gas.
The Dutch refinery, 45% owned by Lukoil, declined to say whether it used Russian crude oil.
Exxon Mobil declined to say whether its Dutch refinery in Rotterdam used Russian crude oil.
India’s state refiner bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading, trade sources said last week.
Indian oil company
On March 23, India’s leading refiner purchased 3 million barrels of Urals for May delivery from Vitol, trade sources said. This is the second purchase of the Urals by IOC since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
India’s private refiner, part-owned by Russia’s Rosneft, bought Russian oil after a year-long hiatus, buying around 1.8 million barrels of Urals from trader Trafigura.
The following list enumerates those who have stopped buying Russian oil:
The British oil major, which is giving up its stake in Rosneft, will not conclude new agreements with Russian entities for loading in Russian ports, except “essential to ensure the security of supplies”.
Japan’s biggest refiner has stopped buying crude oil from Russia, while some shipments signed under previous deals will arrive in Japan until around April.
The energy group, 30.3% owned by the Italian state, is suspending its purchases of Russian oil.
No Russian crude will be used at Germany’s Bayernoil refinery, in which Eni and Rosneft have stakes.
The majority state-owned Norwegian energy company has stopped trading in Russian oil as it winds down operations in the country.
The Portuguese oil and gas company has suspended any new purchases of petroleum products from Russia or Russian companies.
The Finnish refiner has Russian oil contracts until the end of the year, but does not conclude any new supply contracts.
Poland’s largest refiner has not bought Urals crude on the spot market since the start of the war in Ukraine, the company said on Friday, while it recently bought some shipments from Norway.
The company, which operates refineries in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic, however buys crude under long-term supply contracts previously signed with Russia’s Rosneft and Tatneft.
Sweden’s biggest refiner, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, has “suspended” new orders for Russian crude, which made up around 7% of its purchases, replacing them with barrels from the North Sea.
The Spanish company stopped buying Russian crude oil on the spot market.
The world’s largest oil trader will stop buying Russian crude and phase out its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons.
The French oil major will not sign new contracts, promising to stop buying Russian crude oil and petroleum products by the end of this year.
The Swiss refiner, which owns 51.4% of German refinery Bayernoil, said it was not considering entering into new agreements to buy Russian crude.