The change comes as Russia redirects shipments to China and India
Crude oil shipments from countries in the Middle East to Europe have soared by 90% since January, as the bloc snubs Russian oil due to sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing vessel-tracking data.
According to the report, pumping volumes from the Middle East to Europe have so far nearly doubled compared to last year.
Bloomberg estimates that in the first three weeks of July, more than 1 million barrels a day were pumped through the Sumed pipeline through Egypt to Europe from the Middle East, mainly from Saudi Arabia. Another 1.2 million, mostly from Iraq, came via the Suez Canal.
The news outlet estimates that this is 90% more than what Europe received from the region in January, the last month before the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which was swiftly followed by EU sanctions on Moscow, including Russian energy supplies. In early June, the EU introduced another round of sanctions, including a partial embargo on Russian oil – a ban on deliveries by sea.
In response, Moscow offered a discount on oil, which was quickly snatched up by India and China. Both countries have increased their purchases over the past several months.
While Europe may have found a substitute for Russian oil in the Middle East, Bloomberg analysts warn of the consequences it may face after the oil embargo comes into effect by the end of the year. Part of the embargo is a ban on insuring shipments of Russian oil to buyers worldwide, which could become a problem for overall oil shipments and boost competition for supplies from the Middle East, Bloomberg writes.
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