(Photo credit: AFP)
Saudi Arabia has more than doubled the amount of Russian oil it imported during the second quarter of 2022, fulfilling summer cooling demand and freeing up the kingdom’s own crude for export, according to data reviewed by Reuters.
Russian oil has been available at a discount in the wake of the severe economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its military invasion of Ukraine.
Intended to isolate Russia and cut its energy export revenues, the sanctions have instead created a severe energy crisis across the west.
Last month, inflation in the US reached a 40-year high, as runaway fuel prices batter the nation. Other NATO members, such as Germany, fear that entire industries could be destroyed after losing access to Russian fuel.
Meanwhile, many nations across the Global South have increased their imports of Russian oil and gas, taking advantage of its wide availability.
He is also expected to ask Saudi officials to increase their oil supply for global markets.
According to the data obtained by Reuters, Riyadh imported 647,000 tons of fuel oil from Russia via Russian and Estonian ports in April–June this year, up from 320,000 tons in the same period last year.
For all of 2021, Saudi Arabia imported 1.05 million tons of Russian fuel.
Imports of Russian fuel via the West Asian oil hub of Fujairah in the UAE also increased over recent months.
According to traders, Fujairah has received 2.1 million tons of Russian fuel so far this year, exceeding the 1.64 million tons for 2021.
Since the start of the NATO-instigated war between Russia and Ukraine, Washington’s main partners in the Gulf have ignored desperate pleas from western leaders to break with their OPEC+ commitments and increase oil production levels.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, despite welcoming Biden to the kingdom, Saudi officials are not expected to abandon their oil production partnership with Russia.