Several Western countries, including the United States, imposed an outright ban on Russian energy imports, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but major European economies dependent on Russian oil and gas have avoided drastic measures showing the divide in the European Union.
Australia, Britain, Canada and the US have banned the import of Russian oil purchases in the wake of the Russian aggression, which has triggered the biggest refugee crisis in decades.
So far, the bloc’s 27 members have been unable to agree on an embargo, with Germany warning against hasty steps that could push the economy into recession, and, some countries, such as Hungary, opposing any bans.
An EU embargo would require unanimous approval from all 27 member states.
Many buyers in Europe have shunned Russian crude voluntarily to avoid reputational damage or possible legal difficulties.
Others, such as commodity traders Trafigura and Vitol, have continued buying Russian crude under existing long-term contracts.
Both, however, told Reuters that they had not agreed to any new deals since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation” and which began on February 24.
India and China, which have refused to condemn Russia’s actions, have also continued to buy Russian crude.
The following lists major buyers of Russian oil:
A Bulgarian refinery, owned by Russia’s Lukoil, and, with Russian crude accounting for about 60 percent of its intake, continues to refine Russian crude.
Russian crude continues to account for about 14 percent of the intake at Germany’s largest refinery, Miro, which is 24 percent owned by Rosneft.
Germany’s refinery, 54 percent owned by Rosneft, receives crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina is considering buying crude oil from Russia as it seeks oil for a newly revamped refinery.
The land-locked Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, majority-owned by TotalEnergies, is also fed Russian crude by the Druzhba pipeline.
Greece’s biggest oil refiner relies on Russian crude for about 15 percent of its intake. The company earlier this month secured additional supplies from Saudi Arabia.
Italy’s largest refinery, owned by Lukoil-controlled Swiss-based Litasco SA, processes Russian and non-Russian crude.
The Hungarian oil group, which operates three refineries in Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia, continues to be supplied by the Druzhba pipeline. Hungary is opposed to sanctions on Russian oil and gas.
The Dutch refinery, 45 percent owned by Lukoil, declined to comment on whether it was using Russian crude oil.
Exxon Mobil declined to comment on whether its Dutch refinery in Rotterdam was using Russian crude oil.
India’s state refiner bought two million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading, according to trading sources last week.
Indian Oil Corporation
India’s top refiner on March 23 bought three million barrels of Urals for May delivery from Vitol, trade sources said. This is the second purchase of Urals by IOC since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Indian private refiner, part-owned by Russia’s Rosneft, has bought Russian oil after a gap of a year, buying about 1.8 million barrels of Urals from trader Trafigura.
The following lists companies that have stopped buying Russian oil:
The British oil major, which is abandoning its stake in Rosneft, will not enter new deals with Russian entities for loading at Russian ports, unless “essential for ensuring security of supplies”.
Japan’s biggest refiner has stopped buying crude oil from Russia, while some cargoes signed under previous agreements will arrive in Japan until around April.
The energy group, 30.3 percent owned by the Italian government, is suspending purchases of Russian oil.
No Russian crude will be used at Germany’s Bayernoil refinery, in which Eni and Rosneft have stakes.
Norway’s majority state-owned energy firm has stopped trading Russian oil as it winds down its operations in the country.
The Portuguese oil and gas company has suspended all new purchases of petroleum products from Russia or Russian companies.
The Finnish refiner has Russian oil contracts until the end of the year but is not making any new supply agreements.
Poland’s largest refiner has not bought Urals crude on the spot market since the start of the war in Ukraine, the company said on Friday, while it has bought a few cargoes from Norway.
The company, which operates refineries in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic, however, buys crude under previously signed long-term supply contracts with Russia’s Rosneft and Tatneft.
Sweden’s largest refiner, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, has “paused” new orders of Russian crude, which accounted for around seven percent of its purchases, replacing them with North Sea barrels.
The Spanish company has stopped buying Russian crude oil in the spot market.
The world’s largest petroleum trader will stop buying Russian crude and phase out its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons.
The French oil major will not sign new contracts, promising to stop buying Russian crude oil and petroleum products by the end of this year.
The Swiss refiner, which owns 51.4 percent of Germany’s Bayernoil refinery, said it did not plan to enter into new deals to buy Russian crude.