Russia exports the most oil in an August on record, with Greece a key player

  • Russia exported more oil this month than in any August on record, according to the Institute of International Finance.
  • The IIF said the capacity of tankers leaving Russia was just under 160 million in August, with the majority of vessels owned by Greeks.
  • This is the latest sign that Russian oil exports and production are holding up better than expected since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Russian oil shipments this month hit their highest level ever in August, according to data from the Institute of International Finance, the latest sign that the country’s energy exports are holding up much better than expected.

The IIF also found that Greek-owned tankers played the biggest role in helping Russian oil reach international markets, after digging into shell companies that own ships.

Tanker capacity out of Russian ports – a proxy for exports – stood at just under 160 million barrels in August, according to IIF chief economist Robin Brooks. said on Twitter tuesday. That was more than any August in any previous year, he said.

“Russia exports most of its crude via foreign-owned tankers,” Brooks said. “The volume of these shipments in August 2022 exceeds all previous years, thanks to Greek-owned tankers displacing Russian oil-carrying capacity.”

In a previous tweethe said, “Russia is exporting more rough than ever.”

August’s figure was down from some 180 million barrels exported in May, but is unusually high for the month, according to IIF data. This is the latest indication of the strength of Russia’s energy exports.

Many commentators, including analysts from the International Energy Agency, have said Russian oil exports and production will fall sharply after its invasion of Ukraine in late February as Western buyers shun commodities from the country.

Yet Russia actually turned to China and India, which stepped up their purchases of the country’s oil, which was trading at a discount on international markets.

IEA data this month showed Russian oil exports averaged 7.75 million barrels a day in the first seven months of the year, down from the observed average of 7.5 million. in 2021 as a whole.

Russia is using its status as a commodities superpower to pressure the European economy as tensions run high over Ukraine. On Wednesday, it halted the flow of natural gas through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Europe, after reducing it to just 20% of capacity in July.

However, analysts expect Russian oil exports and production to fall when a European Union embargo comes into effect in the coming months.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol told Reuters on Monday he expects production to start falling as sanctions hit.

“Without the (Western) companies, without the technology providers, without the service companies, it will be much more difficult for Russia to maintain production,” he said. .

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