Eastern Eye (UK)

Russian oil’s Indian surge


RUSSIAN oil sales to India surged more than twentyfold last year as European buyers turned to other markets following the conflict in Ukraine, Russia’s deputy prime minister said on Tuesday (28).

Russia shifted its oil exports to India and China last year as European Union nations sought to end their reliance on Russian energy supplies after Moscow sent troops into neighbouri­ng Ukraine.

The EU imposed an embargo on seaborne Russian oil in December alongside a price cap on Russia crude that was agreed with the Group of Seven industrial­ised powers. The shift has meant cheaper Russia energy imports for China and India.

“Most of our energy resources were redirected to other markets, to the markets of friendly countries,” deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.

“If, for example, we take oil supplies to India, they increased 22 times last year,” Novak said.

Novak, who is in charge of Russia’s energy sector, also noted that supplies to China were increasing.

Russia, a major producer and key ally of the OPEC oil cartel, cut crude production by 500,000 barrels per day this month in response to the Western sanctions.

Novak announced last week that the output reduction, which amounts to five per cent of daily production, would continue through June.

He said the move was part of a response to Western penalties targeting Russia’s oil industry that aim to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its military.

The Internatio­nal Energy Agency said this month that Russia’s oilexport revenue sank by almost half in February compared to last year.

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