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China’s Biggest Refiner Has No Plans To Scoop Up Cheap Russian Oil

  • PetroChina will not buy up heavily discounted Russian oil and gas.
  • The state-owned company said it was conducting business with Russia in accordance with “pre-signed contracts”.
  • Petrochina acknowledged that sanctions have impacted oil and gas deals.

State-owned PetroChina will not buy up heavily discounted Russian oil and gas, China’s biggest oil and gas refiner said Friday. 

Chief Financial Officer Chai Shouping told an online earnings conference with analysts that PetroChina did not currently have any “plans or arrangements” to acquire cheap oil and gas from Russia, Nikkei Asia reported.

The state-owned company said it was conducting business with Russia in accordance with “pre-signed contracts”, and, unlike India, it was not looking to take advantage of Russian crude that has been heavily discounted since the country’s invasion of Ukraine.  

PetroChina has, however, acknowledged that Western sanctions against Russia have impacted oil and gas deals. 

"Previously, our oil and gas transactions with Russia were settled in U.S. dollars or euro, but due to sanctions and some other factors, the settlement was impacted to a certain extent,” Nikkei Asia cited Chai as saying.

The idea of the “petroyuan” has gained more traction as an alternative to oil sales in dollars since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Chai noted that Beijing would “continue supporting further expansion of payments in national currencies”, also hinting at the potential to use rubles.

The first shipments of Russian coal paid for in yuan was scheduled to arrive in China in late April, while the first shipment of Russian crude paid for in yuan was set to dock in May. 

Citing unnamed Chinese officials, The Guardian reported earlier this week that Beijing had ordered a “stress test” study of the implications of potential Western sanctions on its own economy, which is being interpreted by some as China’s attempt to study what the costs would be were it to materially support Russia in its war on Ukraine. 

Two months ago, U.S. officials warned Beijing about providing material support for Russia, but earlier this week, Reuters cited senior U.S. officials as saying there were no indications that the Chinese were offering any military or economic support at this time. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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