THE FLOW of Russian crude oil to Finland has slowed from an average of six tankers to one tanker per week since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, reports Helsingin Sanomat.
Neste, a partly state-owned Finnish oil company that has sourced about two-thirds of its crude oil from Russia, announced four days after the start of the invasion that it would mainly replace Russian crude oil with other raw qualities.
The company reported earlier this month it took delivery of one of the last oil shipments from Russia at the port of Kilpilahti in Porvoo, where it operates the only crude oil refinery in Finland. About 85% of Russian crude oil, he added, has been replaced by other grades within existing supply contracts and technical capabilities.
He also pointed out that he had not made a single purchase of Russian crude oil on the spot market since the start of the war and that he had stopped entering into new agreements for the supply of crude oil or raw materials. first fossils produced in Russia. Its supply contracts for Russian crude oil expire in July and for other raw materials at the end of December.
“We believe that substitute grades of crude oil can be found in the global market,” the company said April 6.
Neste is also one of the largest users of Russian natural gas in Finland.
While crude oil imports have fallen significantly, other petroleum products may be more difficult to replace.
“Imports of crude oil from Russia have declined since March, but imports of other petroleum products are continuing to some extent,” he added. Olli-Pekka Penttilaresponsible for statistics at Finnish customs, declared in Helsingin Sanomat on April 13. “It may be more difficult to find a country to replace other petroleum products.”
The newspaper pointed out that oil and natural gas, in particular, have been key revenue sources for Russia, accounting for around a third of state tax revenue last year and as much as half in some years.
Russia is currently benefiting from rising energy prices, particularly oil prices which have reached their highest level in 14 years. Bloomberg Economy calculated earlier this month that the country will earn more than US$320 billion from energy exports in 2022, an increase of more than a third from 2021.
The European Union has announced the suspension of imports of coal but not of oil or natural gas from Russia. While a group of member states led by Germany has successfully blocked attempts to introduce large-scale energy sanctions, reports suggest the bloc may be moving towards banning oil imports from Russia.
The New York Times Thursday wrote that the EU is “reluctantly” preparing a gradual ban on imports of Russian petroleum products, the announcement being expected at the earliest after the second round of the French presidential election.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (The Greens) indicated earlier this week that it expects the union to find a way to add oil to its Russia sanctions regime.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT