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Tags: europe | oil imports | russia | opec

Western Europe No Longer Dependent on Russian Oil

By    |   Sunday, 25 February 2024 01:11 PM EST

Western Europe has reportedly broken free of direct Russian oil imports for good — a shift that could ultimately be a blow to Vladimir Putin.

Analysts at the European energy consultancy RystadEnergy found the U.K. and much of Europe reversed a yearslong rise in reliance on Russian oil and gas before the Ukraine conflict — shifting to other suppliers like the United States and Canada, The Telegraph reported Sunday.

“Just before the war, just the idea of, 'We’re going to stop buying oil and gas directly from Russia,' would have been crazy,” Jorge Leon, Rystad’s senior vice president for oil markets, told the outlet. “But it has largely happened.”

The U.K. relied on Russia for about 30% of its diesel, 27% of its coal, and up to 10% of its gas — which arrived partly on ships as liquid natural gas and partly via trans-European pipelines, the outlet noted. That’s now fallen to practically zero, the outlet reported.

Even though quantities of Russian fossil fuel have still been arriving via refineries in other countries, Leon told the outlet overall amounts are diminishing.

The key to breaking Russian dominance was a surge in supply from other sources outside OPEC, the cartel of mainly Middle Eastern countries to control supply and prices.

“Non-OPEC supplies do not usually grow that much but 2023 was a massive year,” Leon told the outlet. “The stars aligned and you had new projects come in from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Norway, and so on. So that saved us in a sense."

“And then you look at the U.S., growth has continued very, very strongly through 2023,” he said.

The economic slump in the U.K. and Europe since 2022 has also decreased overall energy demand.

“Demand in the OECD [a group of rich developed countries] has actually decreased last year and likely in 2024,” Leon  told The Telegraph. “So in a sense, we were kind of lucky that our economic growth in 2023 was lower.”

Cutting off Russian supplies has been slow — and Leon cautioned some of the apparent decline in trade with Russia could be illusory since the Kremlin was selling more crude oil to countries like India, where it could be processed into products like diesel and sold to the U.K. and Europe.

“Oil that was initially flowing from Russia into Europe is now going to China and India, from where suppliers are shipping to Europe,” he told the outlet.

Ashley Kelty, director of oil and gas research at Panmure Gordon investment bank, told the outlet despite the U.K.’s halt of direct imports of oil from Russia, the reality is more complex.

“So the reliance on Russia is largely broken but they still remain important to global supply, as China and India buy much of their products now — albeit at large discounts,” he said. “If they were forced to exclude Russia, then there would be another energy crisis with huge shortfalls in crude and [liquified natural gas] supplies.”

Fran Beyer

Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Western Europe has reportedly broken free of direct Russian oil imports for good - a shift that could ultimately be a blow to Vladimir Putin.
europe, oil imports, russia, opec
488
2024-11-25
Sunday, 25 February 2024 01:11 PM
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