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A cargo of 10,000 barrels of Russian crude arrived in November in the United States, Energy Information Administration data has shown, despite an official ban on Russian oil enacted by Congress two years ago.
An official Russian oil import chart by the EIA shows a halt to imports in April 2022. Prior to that, the U.S. was importing several thousand barrels of Russian crude every month, with some years seeing monthly imports of between 10,000 and over 20,000 barrels.
Despite the ban, there has been a lot of fuel made from Russian crude going into the United States, a report by Global Witness revealed last year. According to the report, Russian crude was being shipped abroad, refined there, and after that, it was exported legally to the U.S.
India became a central hub for the processing of Russian crude, which it then exported around the world, including to the European Union, which like the U.S. had instituted an embargo on Russian crude oil and fuels.
The EU has also been importing fuels made from Russian crude at Lukoil’s refinery in Bulgaria for lack of many alternative suppliers.
Japan, another member of the G7 group that imposed an oil price cap on Russian exporters in 2022, has also continued to buy Russian crude despite the official restrictions. Not only that but the U.S. has allowed the country to continue doing this, and above the $60 per barrel price cap agreed in mid-2022.
Meanwhile, fellow BRICS member Brazil has turned into another major buyer of Russian oil alongside India. Last year, according to new data, Russia became Brazil’s top supplier of diesel, with exports of other fuels also running high.
In 2023, Brazil’s imports of Russian diesel surged by a massive 6,000% to 6.1 million tons, from just 101,000 tons a year earlier, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing official government figures.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com