US dethrones Russia as biggest oil supplier to Europe

    WORLD  29 March 2023 - 09:41

    The US is now the biggest supplier of crude oil to the European Union.

    In December, 18% of the bloc’s crude imports came from America, EU data office Eurostat said on March 28, CNN reports.

    That is a big turnaround. Russia was until recently the bloc’s top supplier of crude, accounting for as much as 31% of total imports until the end of January 2022, according to Eurostat. The US, meanwhile, came a distant second, with a maximum 13% share.

    But Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year led to an upheaval in Europe’s energy supplies.

    EU states slashed their imports of Russia’s energy, and the bloc imposed sanctions on the country’s oil and coal exports.

    In December, the European Union banned imports of Russian seaborne crude and introduced a price cap barring shippers, insurance brokers and other companies from providing their services if oil was bought for more than $60 a barrel.

    When the war broke out, some European countries also started reducing their imports of Russian natural gas. Moscow, for its part, began to cut flows to the continent. State energy giant Gazprom first reduced gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which accounted for about 35% of Europe’s total imports of Russian gas in 2021. And in September, it shut off the pipeline, citing technical issues.

    Russia’s share of Europe’s natural gas imports has fallen sharply, from 31% in the first quarter of 2022 to nearly 19% by the end of the year, Eurostat data shows. That has made the United States the bloc’s second-biggest supplier of gas, with a nearly 20% share, behind top source Norway, which accounts for almost 31% of EU gas imports.

    US crude exports to Europe were rising before the war, though Russia’s invasion had increased the need to ramp up deliveries from alternative sources, said Jay Maroo, a senior analyst at data provider Vortexa.

    Caliber.Az

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