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Will U.S. Refiners Boycott Russian Oil?


1. Asia to Remain Focus of Middle Eastern Producers as Europe Tightens Further

- Despite IEA members agreeing to release 60 million barrels of oil in a coordinated effort to tame runaway prices, with the US releasing half of the total, Brent is up at $110 per barrel, an eight-year high.

- The risk of Russian supply being kept away from markets has made backwardation so steep that now the difference between the first and second months of the Brent futures curve stands at around $5 per barrel.

- Concurrently, the Brent-Dubai EFS spread, a key indicator of arbitrage flows from the Atlantic Basin into Asia, rose to almost $14 per barrel, the highest it has ever been.

- With a historically weak arbitrage, flows from the Atlantic Basin (including the US) have been declining for four straight months and averaged 2.1 million b/d, the lowest since 2016.

2. Can US Refiners Boycott Russian Oil?

- Two US refiners, namely Monroe Energy and Par Pacific, have decided not to enter into any new supply deals seeing imports of Russian crude, squeezing the market for Urals and ESPO outflows.

- The largest buyers of Russian barrels last year, Valero and Marathon, have so far refrained from any comments – nationwide, last year has seen an average of 130,000 b/d Russian crude going to the US.

- Russian products are much more important for US refiners, primarily importing high-sulfur fuel oil and vacuum gasoil (VGO), for secondary refining…

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