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The Graphic Truth: How is Russian oil selling?

Russian oil has been selling at a massive discount since the war in Ukraine began last February, which has been a double-edged sword for the Kremlin. On the one hand, it brings in some much-needed revenue and makes Russian crude an attractive buy at a time of global inflation. On the other hand, selling at a discount means selling at a loss in revenue to a dwindling number of buyers. Adding to Russia’s woes, on Dec. 5, the EU instituted an embargo on Russian crude shipments at sea, leading to a massive drop-off in exports across the board, even to markets it depends on in Asia — chiefly China, India, and Turkey. The G7, Eu, and Australia also placed a $60 per barrel cap on Russian oil, so the discount is likely to remain in place as Russia tries to ship over long distances to Asia. We look at the discount for Russian crude today vs. when Russia invaded Ukraine, and how much each of Russia’s top three customers has been buying since the war began.

Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Who bought the most Russian oil?

Before Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, Russia was supplying more than 10% of global crude oil supplies. That share has dwindled in recent months as many countries have (slowly) piled onto a boycott of Russian energy to punish the Kremlin for the ongoing onslaught. To make up the shortfall, the US has been pressuring other oil-producing behemoths – like the Saudis – to up oil production. There are even reports that Washington is contemplating the loosening of sanctions on pariah-state Venezuela to tap into that country’s vast crude oil reserves. We take a look at which countries imported the most crude oil from Russia up until recent embargoes were introduced, as well as which states have the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

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