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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Germany Expects Oil Embargo Decision This Week

  • Germany's Economy Minister: "We will reach a breakthrough within days,".
  • Germany is willing to impose an oil embargo without support from all 27 EU members.
  • Germany aims to stop all Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.

The European Union is about to agree on a Russian oil embargo within days, Germany's Economy Ministry Robert Habeck told media.

"We will reach a breakthrough within days," Habeck told German ZDF, as quoted by Reuters.

Just a day earlier, Habeck had told the media that Germany was so eager to impose an embargo on Russian oil imports that it was willing to do it without a consensus among all 27 EU members.

Speaking to another German news channel, Habeck said that "If the Commission president says we're doing this as 26 without Hungary, then that is a path that I would always support," adding, however, "But I have not yet heard this from the EU." 

Germany is one of the most vocal supporters of a Russian oil embargo and earlier this month said it was going to eliminate the commodity from its energy mix by the end of the year, whatever the rest of the European Union decides.

That's despite the fact that the refinery supplying fuel for the capital Berlin and its surroundings is majority-owned by Russia's Rosneft and runs on Russian crude. Earlier this month, Shell's chief executive warned the 233,000-bpd facility would start reducing production as soon as deliveries of Russian crude stop.

Suspending Russian oil imports, Ben van Beurden said, "will probably mean that that refinery will be turned down quite significantly because the incoming logistics are constrained and the refinery is not configured for anything else but Urals."

The European Union has granted Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria temporary exemptions from an embargo, giving them more time to find alternative suppliers. It is also offering them more than $2 billion for their trouble.

The proposal for the embargo, made by the European Commission, involves a six-month period for winding down purchases of Russian oil and nine months for purchases of Russian refined products.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 24 2022 said:
    The German Economy Minister Robert Habeck is becoming a figure of ridicule for repeatedly keep saying that the EU will reach a breakthrough on Russian oil embargo decision within days but nothing was happening in the face of fierce opposition from Hungary.

    He even urged the EU Secretariat to cut Hungary out of an EU-wide agreement when the constitution of the EU specifies that agreements are reached by unanimous votes. If implemented, such a precedent couldn’t only return to haunt the EU and Germany but could also signal the first crack in the bloc and could pave the way towards its future break-up.

    The German Economy Minister also says that Germany is willing to impose an oil embargo without support from all 27 EU members. If so, what is he waiting for?

    Hungary is absolutely right to demand solutions before a ban on Russian oil. Hungary is merely trying to protect its economy from the disastrous economic fallout of a ban. If the EU is hell-bent on cutting its nose to spite its face as the proverbial saying goes, Hungary isn’t prepared to commit such a folly.

    Even before the ban, the EU has already downgraded its projected economic growth from 2.7% to 1.4% for this year.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Carlos Everett on May 24 2022 said:
    It is pretty obvious that Ben van Beurdon never worked in a refinery. It is unbelievable that a CEO does not realize that yes a refinery might have been built for a specific crude but in actual fact that refinery can run many different crudes because there are a lot of crudes out there that sare similiar to Urals.
  • Carlos Everett on May 24 2022 said:
    It is pretty obvious that Ben van Beurdon never worked in a refinery. It is unbelievable that a CEO does not realize that yes a refinery might have been built for a specific crude but in actual fact that refinery can run many different crudes because there are a lot of crudes out there that sare similiar to Urals.

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