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Former Texas Regulator: It Could Take Years To Replace Russian Oil

  • Sitton: We're talking five, ten years away before that would even be possible to replace all ten million barrels.
  • Sitton: Right now, China is likely the best option for Russia to sell its oil

The global oil market could take five to ten years to replace all the 10 million barrels per day of oil that Russia currently produces, Ryan Sitton, a former member of the Texas Railroad Commission, told Russian outlet Sputnik.

"We're talking five, ten years away before that would even be possible to replace all ten million barrels," said Sitton, who was member of the Texas commission responsible for regulating the oil industry in the largest oil-producing U.S. state.

"How long before the rest of the world can make the ten million barrels of oil that Russia produces? The answer is it is so far off it can't be done," Sitton told Sputnik.

Right now, China is likely the only option for Russia to sell its oil.

"China is in a really good position because China now as Russia's sole customer can almost command whatever prices they want to pay for that oil because there are no other buyers," according to Sitton.

Due to the Russian war in Ukraine, consumers will be paying much higher prices for gasoline after the U.S. ban on all energy imports from Russia and the European traders and buyers steering clear of increasingly toxic Russian crude.

In the United States, gasoline prices could exceed $5 per gallon on a national average and even rise close to $6 a gallon, Sitton told Sputnik.

As of March 11, the national average per gallon of regular gasoline was $4.331, according to AAA data.

A new survey from AAA showed on Thursday that $4.00 gasoline is the tipping point for most Americans. More than half, or 59 percent of Americans polled, said they would make changes to their driving habits or lifestyle if the cost of gas rose to $4 per gallon. If gas were to reach $5.00, which it has in the Western part of the country, three-quarters said they would need to adjust their lifestyle to offset the spike at the pump, AAA's survey found.

In the two weeks after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the national average had jumped by $0.70 as of March 9, according to AAA.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 11 2022 said:
    No producer in the world can replace Russian crude oil production now or ever. Before the pandemic, Russia was producing 11.7 million barrels a day (mbd) and exporting 8.3 mbd according to the 2021 BP Statistical Review of Word Energy composed of 5.0 mbd of crude and 3.3 mbd of refined products. Despite the OPEC+ cuts. Russia is still exporting 8 mbd (5.0 crude and 3 refined products).

    By 2024 Russia is projected to add another 1.5 mbd to its production from the Arctic. Russia’s Arctic will be one of three regions in the world which will produce the very last barrels of oil. The other regions are the Arab Gulf region and Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt.

    Moreover, the Ukraine conflict isn’t going to last for ever. It could be sorted out immediately once Russian security demands have been agreed upon and Ukraine’s neutrality has been enshrined in its constitution and in an international treaty between the United States and NATO on the one hand and Russia on the other.

    Henry Kissinger, one of the world’s foremost strategic thinkers said with extra prescience “that to settle the Ukraine crisis, start at the end” in article he wrote for the Washington Post on 5 March 2014. His prediction was apt then and it is equally apt now.

    Kissinger suggested some principles for a settlement compatible with the values and security interests of all sides:

    1. Ukraine should have the right to choose freely its economic and political associations, including with Europe.
    2. Ukraine should not join NATO, a position he took seven years ago, when it last came up.
    3. Ukraine should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia.
    4. It should be possible to put Crimea’s relationship to Ukraine on a less fraught basis. To that end, Russia would recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea. Ukraine should reinforce Crimea’s autonomy in elections held in the presence of international observers. The process would include removing any ambiguities about the status of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol.

    Kissinger concluded that "these are principles, not prescriptions. If some solution based on these or comparable elements is not achieved, the drift toward confrontation will accelerate. The time for that will come soon enough”.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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