Russia increased oil exports to the United States, United Kingdom and Turkey in 2019, reports RBC news agency. According to Russian Customs Service (FTS), in 2019 Russia exported two times more crude oil to the U.S. and the U.K., while oil exports to Turkey increased four times.
In 2019 Russia exported to the U.S. 4.7 million tonnes of crude oil, a 2.6 times increase compared to 2018 (1.8 million tonnes). The value of the oil supplies to the United States increased 2.4 times, reaching 2.2 billion U.S. dollars. According to the U.S. Ministry of Trade, Russia supplied to the U.S. 51.5 million barrels of oil (over 7 million tonnes) of the total value of 3.4 billion dollars, a 66% increase compared to 2018. The difference can be explained by the fact that Russian Customs Service only counts oil supplied directly to the United States, while the U.S. Ministry of Trade counts all the oil of Russian origin, even supplied via third countries.
In 2019 the average price of Russian oil supplied to the U.S. decreased. While in 2018 American customers paid on average 70.5 dollars per barrel, in 2019 the average price of Russian crude decreased to 62.8 dollars per barrel.
The United Kingdom imported 2.4 million tonnes of Russian oil in 2019, a 240% increase compared to 2018 (0.98 million tonnes). The total value of oil imports from Russia increased from 493 million to 1.2 billion dollars. However, according to the U.K. Office for National Statistics, the total value of Russian oil exports increased by 57% only, from 0.99 billion to 1.55 billion pounds. Russian oil replaced supplies from Nigeria and Algeria, imports from these countries fell in 2019 by 48% and 13% respectively.
In 2019 Russia supplied to Turkey 8.2 million tonnes of oil, almost four times more than in 2018 (2.1 million tonnes). The total value of these supplies increased from 1 billion to 3.7 billion dollars. At the same time, the average price of Russian oil exported to Turkey also decreased from 68.2 dollars to 62 dollars per barrel.
According to FTS, the total value of oil exported by Russia in 2019 reached 121 billion dollars. The largest importers of Russian oil were China, Germany and the Netherlands.
Exports of the oil refinery products from Russia increased to the U.S. only. Russian exports increased by around 150% by volume but only by 10% by value. In November 2019 Russian companies exported to the United States 17 million barrels of refinery products, reaching historic highs and covering around 25% of the American imports. At the same time, exports of Russian refinery products to the U.K. and Turkey in 2019 decreased 1.3 times by volume and 1.4 times by value.
According to Russian industry experts, the main reason for such dramatic increase in Russian oil exports to the U.S., U.K. and Turkey are attractive oil prices: Russian oil was more profitable in these markets due to relatively low transportation costs and its refinery products composition.
Another reason is the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran. Russian Urals blend was the most affordable and the best available substitute to heavy and sour crude blends from Venezuela. American refineries prefer heavy Russian crude to relatively light and sweet domestic shale oil because its product composition offers higher profit margins. At the same time, Russian oil export to Turkey increased because of the U.S. sanctions against Iran, one of the major oil suppliers to Turkey.