Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 20 January 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russian Oil Is Getting Mixed in Singapore
Facing sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is looking further afield to find customers for its crude oil. Russian oil being is blended in Singapore and then re-exported globally as traders reap huge profits, according to Bloomberg.
Singapore has turned into a key hub to legally avoid trade restrictions against Russia. Oil traders fill tank storage in the city by mixing cheap fuel supplies from Russia with shipments from other sources before trading them off globally. Traders enjoy a good profit margin from mixing Russian components––up to twice as much. Demand for oil storage tanks in Singapore is skyrocketing, with most tank spaces being reserved for the entire year, Bloomberg reported. Singapore oil-receiving terminals took in more than double the volume of Russian oil in December 2022 as compared to a year ago. Within just a month, Singapore took a combined 3.4 million barrels a day of Russian crude and products. Singapore has not banned the import of Russian oil or petroleum products, although financial institutions based in the island state are prohibited from financing or dealing with Russian goods and companies. But trading Russian oil is a sensitive topic for many buyers who wish to obscure its origin. Profits from mixing Russian oil with shipments from other sources have room to increase when the EU’s ban on Russian oil product exports enters into force on February 5. Russia began to trade more oil to Asia and the Middle East after Western countries refused to purchase shipments following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Some of this blended fuel may go into the bunker fuel in Singapore or the Emirate of Fujairah, or be traded off globally. That should intensify in the coming months. By mixing and reselling cheap Russian fuel, traders make a lot of money––those that also reap benefits are Russia, seeking to trade its fuel after losing Western markets, and customers throughout Asia.
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