Russian oil cheaper: Turkey doubles oil imports from Russia

Status: 08/22/2022 12:28 p.m

Because Turkey has not imposed sanctions on Russia, the relatively cheap oil that comes from there is particularly attractive at the moment. Compared to the previous year, Turkey has more than doubled its oil imports from Russia.

Russian oil exports to Turkey have more than doubled this year. This emerges from data published in the morning by the financial service provider Refinitiv. Imports of Russian oil to Turkey this year have averaged more than 200,000 barrels a day. In the same period last year, the average was 98,000 barrels a day.

Despite the war against Ukraine, Turkey has not yet sanctioned Russia and justifies this by saying that it is dependent on Russian energy supplies. In early August, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan also agreed to strengthen economic cooperation.

Russian oil cheaper

According to the data, the most important Turkish refineries have processed significantly more Russian oil of the Urals and Siberian Light varieties. At the same time, purchases of oil from the North Sea, Iraq and West Africa declined. Russian oil is currently much cheaper than that from the North Sea or Iraq. Russia is the third largest oil producer in the world after the US and Saudi Arabia. A barrel (159 liters) of the North Sea Brent currently costs around 96 dollars.

“Turkish refiners’ decision was obvious as they have no restrictions on buying Russian oil,” said a trader. The profit margins are good. Neither the Turkish Ministry of Energy nor the refineries wanted to comment on the data when asked.

Increasing oil consumption for power generation

The International Energy Agency only revised its forecast upwards this month and now expects higher oil production in Russia for this year. The agency had previously assumed a sharper decline in Russian supply. Currently, both the increasing use of oil for power generation and the switch from gas to oil are boosting demand for the commodity.

Exports of crude oil and other oil products to Europe, the United States, Japan and Korea have declined since the war began, the report said. However, the diversion of flows to India, China, Turkey and other countries, as well as higher Russian domestic demand, have cushioned the losses.

At the beginning of the year, oil imports from Russia accounted for a fifth of Turkey’s total oil imports. According to data from the research organization Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), Turkey is the largest importer of Russian gas after China, the Netherlands and Germany.

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