Russian oil exports higher than before Ukraine conflict – deputy PM

Moscow has shipped about 250 million tons of crude this year

Russian oil exports this year will be higher than before the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine, indicating a failure of Western sanctions, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov said this week. This year’s crude shipments from Russia are estimated at around 250 million tons, which is 7% higher than in 2021, according to the official.

“The most pressing problems last year have generally been resolved. This firstly concerns payments and cargo insurance, [and] secondly, ensuring seaborne shipping of hydrocarbons by the tanker fleet… Russian energy exports in monetary terms have practically reached the levels of 2021 to remain at a level that is comfortable for the budget and companies,” Belousov said at a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

Moscow’s income from crude sales almost doubled from April to October, despite international pressure and forecasts of a huge deficit. Russia’s net oil revenues of $11.3 billion in October accounted for 31% of the country’s overall net budget revenue for the month, according to the Russian Finance Ministry. Over the past year, Russia has rerouted practically all of its energy flows from the West to Asia and reportedly began moving its crude exports on a fleet of aging tankers, or ‘shadow fleet’, on which international sanctions, including the price restrictions, have limited traction.

READ MORE: Russia rules the waves: While the West is suffering losses from maritime trade, Moscow’s share is increasing

Belousov’s comments came after the US Treasury Department extended Russia sanctions as it seeks to tighten enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil. The new restrictions target “several obscure oil traders who have emerged as frequent participants in the seaborne transportation of Russian-origin oil following the imposition of the price cap,” the Treasury said. It also updated guidance to strengthen the attestation and recordkeeping processes for certain service providers.

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