(Reuters) – Here’s countries’ response to buying Russian oil since the war in Ukraine began on February 24 and how companies have acted.
Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have banned Russian oil purchases outright, but the 27-member European Union couldn’t agree on the embargo.
The bloc is leaning towards a ban on Russian oil imports until the end of the year as part of a sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, said it was able to weather an EU embargo on Russian oil imports until the end of this year, although a break could cause shortages.
Hungary said it remains opposed to a European Union embargo on Russian oil and gas imports.
However, many refiners in Europe have voluntarily stopped buying Russian crude or have agreed to do so when their long-term contracts expire.
Major global trading houses also plan to scale back Russian crude oil and fuel purchases from May 15.
As a result, Russian diesel exports from the Baltic port of Primorsk, a key source of supply for Europe, were expected to fall by more than 30% in May.
China and India, which have refused to condemn Russia’s actions, continue to buy Russian crude.
Below are current and former buyers of Russian crude oil (in alphabetical order):
India’s state-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for shipment in May from trader Trafigura, two people familiar with the purchase said. The company regularly purchases Russia’s Urals for its 310,000 barrels per day (bpd) Kochi Refinery in southern India.
Greece’s largest oil refiner relies on Russian crude oil for about 15% of its intake. The company secured additional shipments from Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
According to trade sources, India’s state-owned refiner last week bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for shipment in May.
INDIAN OIL CORP
India’s top refiner has bought 6 million barrels of Urals since February 24 and has a supply deal with Rosneft for up to 15 million barrels of Russian crude in 2022.
However, the refiner, which also buys crude on behalf of its Chennai Petroleum subsidiary, has excluded several high-sulphur crude grades, including Urals, from its recent tender, according to trade sources.
Italy’s largest refinery, owned by Lukoil-controlled Swiss Litasco SA, has been forced to source almost all of its crude from its Russian owner because international banks stopped lending to it.
The Italian government is considering temporarily nationalizing ISAB as one of its options if sanctions are imposed on Russian oil, two government sources told Reuters.
The landlocked Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, which is majority-owned by France’s TotalEnergies, is also supplied with Russian crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
MANGALORE REFINERY AND PETROCHEMICAL
The state-run Indian refiner has bought 1 million barrels of Russian Ural crude for shipment in May via a bid from a European trader, a rare purchase spurred by the rebate on offer.
Russian crude still accounts for about 14% of intake at Germany’s largest refinery, Miro, which is 24% owned by Rosneft.
The Hungarian oil company, which operates three refineries in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, continues to buy Russian crude through the Druzhba pipeline, as well as refined products.
The company said it would take two to four years and cost between $500 million and $700 million to replace Russian oil imports in the event of a full European embargo.
The private Indian refinery, partly owned by Rosneft, has bought Russian oil after a year-long hiatus, buying about 1.8 million barrels of Urals from Trafigura.
A Bulgarian refinery owned by the Russian company Lukoil, which extracts about 60% of its crude oil from Russian crude, continues to refine Russian crude.
The German refinery PCK Schwedt, 54% owned by Rosneft, receives crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
Indonesian state-owned energy company PT Pertamina is considering buying crude oil from Russia as it searches for oil for a revamped refinery.
Poland’s biggest refiner has stopped buying Russian crude on the spot market and switched to North Sea oil, but is still buying Urals under previously signed deals that expire at the end of this year or later.
The company, which operates refineries in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic, posted a strong profit from refining in March thanks to the rebate it pays for Russian oil.
China’s state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, continues to buy Russian crude under previously signed long-term contracts but is staying away from new spot deals.
The British oil major, which is divesting its stake in Rosneft, will not make any new deals with Russian companies for loading at Russian ports unless it is “essential to ensure security of supply”.
Japan’s largest refiner has stopped buying crude oil from Russia, while some shipments signed under earlier agreements will arrive in Japan by around April. The company plans to source alternative supplies from the Middle East.
The energy company, 30.3% owned by the Italian government, is suspending purchases of Russian oil.
No Russian crude oil is used in the German Bayernoil refinery, in which Eni and Rosneft have stakes.
Norway’s majority state-owned energy company has halted trading in Russian oil as it ramps down operations in the country.
The Portuguese oil and gas group has suspended all new purchases of petroleum products from Russia or Russian companies.
The global mining and trading company, which owns a 0.57% stake in Rosneft, said it will continue to honor its commitments under previously signed contracts, but “will not enter into any new commercial deals related to Russian-origin commodities unless it would be ordered by the relevant government agencies”.
The Finnish refiner has not bought any Russian crude on the spot market since the war began and is not planning any new deals when the existing long-term supply deal expires in July. Since early April, the refinery has replaced about 85% of Russia’s crude with other crudes.
Romania’s top oil and gas company, controlled by Austria’s OMV, said it was preparing to wean itself off from Russian crude oil imports, which account for about 30% of annual needs at its Petrobrazi refinery.
Sweden’s biggest refiner, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, has “paused” new orders for Russian crude, which accounted for about 7% of its purchases, replacing them with North Sea barrels.
The Spanish company has stopped buying Russian crude oil on the spot market.
The world’s largest oil trader has stopped buying Russian crude oil and on April 27 said it would no longer accept refined products with Russian content, including mixed fuels.
The Geneva-based global commodities trader plans to halt all purchases of crude from Rosneft by May 15, when tougher EU rules on Russian oil sales come into effect, and “substantially” increase the volume of refined products it buys from Rosneft to reduce.
The French oil major has announced it will no longer enter into or renew existing contracts to purchase Russian crude oil and petroleum products, aiming to halt all purchases by the end of 2022.
The contracts primarily cover supplies to the Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, which sources Russian crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline, and gas oil supplies to Europe.
The Swiss refiner, which owns 51.4% of Germany’s Bayernoil refinery, has announced it will not enter into any new deals to buy Russian crude.
(Reported by Reuters; Edited by David Clarke)