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Russia seeks new buyers for its oil due to increased sanctions

Russia seeks new buyers for its oil due to increased sanctions Russia is looking for new buyers for its oil (photo: Getty Images)

Russia is seeking new buyers for its oil due to increased sanctions from Western countries. It is noted that recently a tanker carrying Russian Urals oil arrived off the coast of Venezuela, according to Bloomberg.

The ship Ligera is currently near the Amuay Bay, which is connected to an oil refinery. Last month, the tanker loaded at least 1.7 million barrels of oil by ship-to-ship transfer near southern Greece before heading to Venezuela.

The arrival of the tanker marks the first confirmed Russian oil delivery to the United States in the last five years. In the past, Venezuela received foreign oil to dilute its energy mix and facilitate its exports.

The delivery also comes amid attacks by Houthi rebels on commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Many ships are avoiding the Red Sea, seeking to ensure the safety of their crews and cargoes.

Previously, Urals had been delivered to countries in the Caribbean basin, primarily to Cuba, but these delivery volumes are decreasing. According to ship tracking data, only two tankers visited Cuba last year compared to six in 2022.

Sanctions against Russia's oil industry

G7 countries, the European Union, and partners introduced a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel last year. Similar restrictions on the supply of oil products from Russia came into effect on February 5, 2023.

Subsequently, Western sanctions led to half of Russian oil and oil product exports in 2023 going to China, while India's share grew to 40% over two years. Europe's share in Russian oil exports plummeted tenfold to about 4-5%.

CNN also reported that the US became the largest buyer of oil products from India made from Russian oil after the introduction of the price cap. From December 2022 to the end of 2023, they spent $1.3 billion on purchases.