Who is still buying Russian crude oil

Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have imposed outright bans on Russian oil purchases following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, but members of the European Union are split.

Published : 24 March 2022, 04:50 PM
Updated : 24 March 2022, 04:50 PM

The leaders of EU member countries are expected to discuss on Thursday a possible ban on Russian energy imports, although such a ban would be difficult to approve due to opposition from some members, including Germany.

Sanctions on Russian energy could lead to a shortage of diesel, the preferred fuel for heavy industry, pushing up fuel and transportation costs, analysts and industry sources said.

If imports of Russian crude oil are banned, European refineries could be short of 1.5-2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022, and the deficit globally could be just under 3 million bpd, Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy said on Thursday.

India and China, however, could ramp up output of refined products in the short and medium-term, importing more Russian barrels, it added.

While the political discussions continue, many buyers in Europe are shunning Russian crude voluntarily to avoid reputational damage or possible legal difficulty, leaving traders warning of potential supply shortages.

Trafigura estimates lost Russian crude and products so far at between 2 million and 2.5 million bpd, with the impact expected to become more clear by the end of April.

The following lists major takers of Russian crude:


Bulgarian refinery, owned by Russia's Lukoil, and with Russian crude accounting for about 60% of its total intake, continues to refine Russian crude.


Russian crude continues to account for about 14% of the intake at Germany's largest refinery, Miro, which is 24% owned by Rosneft.


Germany's refinery, 54% owned by Rosneft, receives crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.


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% 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 crudes.


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.

PKN Orlen

Poland's largest refiner, which continues to buy Russian crude for its refineries in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic, said it was preparing for a complete halt.

PKN has bought at least three cargoes of Norway's Johan Sverdrup crude in March to supply its refinery in Lithuania, replacing Russian Urals, shipping data showed.


The Dutch refinery, 45% 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 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading, according to trading sources last week.


India's top refiner on March 23 bought 3 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 Feb 24.


Indian private refiner, part-owned by Russia's Rosneft, has purchased Russian oil after a gap of a year, buying about 1.8 million barrels of Urals from trader Trafigura.

The following lists those 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% 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.


Sweden's largest refiner, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, has "paused" new orders of Russian crude, which accounted for around 7% 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% in Germany's Bayernoil refinery, said it did not plan to enter into new deals to buy Russian crude.