(Bloomberg) — Russia’s oil revenues are up 50% this year even as trade restrictions following the invasion of Ukraine spurred many refiners to shun its supplies, the International Energy Agency said.
Moscow earned roughly $20 billion each month in 2022 from combined sales of crude and products amounting to about 8 million barrels a day, the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly market report.
Russian shipments have continued to flow even as the European Union edges towards an import ban, and international oil majors such as Shell Plc and TotalEnergies SE pledge to cease purchases. Asia has remained a keen customer, with China and India picking up cargoes no longer wanted in Europe.
The IEA, which advises major economies, kept its outlook for world oil markets largely unchanged in the report. Global fuel markets are tight and may face further strain in the months ahead as Chinese demand rebounds following a spate of new Covid lockdowns, it said.
Reduced flows of Russian refined products such as diesel, fuel oil and naphtha have aggravated tightness in global markets, the agency noted. Stockpiles have declined for seven consecutive quarters, with reserves of so-called middle distillates at their lowest since 2008.
But for all the disruption, Moscow has continued to enjoy a financial windfall compared with the first four months of 2021. Despite the EU’s public censure of the Kremlin’s aggression, total oil export revenues were up 50% this year.
The bloc remained the largest market for Russian exports in April, taking 43% of the country’s exports, the IEA said.
Still, there are signs of Russia’s resilience starting to fray.
Supplies were down 1 million barrels a day last month, and these losses could triple in the second half of the year, the agency estimates. EU sanctions against Russian state-linked enterprises such as production giant Rosneft PJSC will take effect on May 15, and the bloc is moving towards a full ban on the country’s supplies.
“If agreed, the new embargoes would accelerate the reorientation of trade flows that is already underway and will force Russian oil companies to shut in more wells,” the IEA said.