Despite the Western sanctions, Russian oil companies boosted their gasoline exports by 37% between January and May compared to the same period in 2022, Russian daily Kommersant reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the data.
Russia has stopped reporting official data about oil production and exports, much to the frustration of its OPEC+ partners, as the leader of the pack, Saudi Arabia, is reportedly looking to boost oil prices to at least $80 per barrel—the estimated breakeven price for its budget for 2023.
The trade shift in Russian oil flows also benefits Moscow’s Middle Eastern allies in the OPEC+ pact as the biggest Arab Gulf oil producers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), scoop up Russia’s fuels at discounted prices.
At what price is China buying Russian oil?
India and China have snapped up the vast majority of Russian oil so far in April at prices above the Western price cap of $60 per barrel, according to traders and Reuters calculations.Apr 18, 2023
India and China snap up Russian oil in April above ‘price cap’ | Russia-Ukraine war News | Al Jazeera.
European Union diplomats have agreed on a $60-per-barrel limit on the price at which Russian oil can be traded outside the bloc, the latest effort by Western allies to try to deprive Moscow of revenue to finance its war in Ukraine.
Western allies don’t want Russia to stop selling oil, its main export. Doing so would put a big dent in the global supply and drive prices up at a time of already soaring global inflation.
The effort is a reflection of how Western sanctions have failed to weaken Moscow’s energy exports: Russia is on track to earn more this year from oil sales than in 2021, buoyed by a surge in the global price after the war began, despite often selling to China and India at discounts.
***With Russia’s oil production costs estimated at $20 per barrel ***
still allows Moscow to reap substantial profits.