Economics/Class Relations

Russian Oil Thrives Despite European Sanctions

by Peter Zeihan on October 5, 2023

While sanctions on Russian natural gas have proven highly effective, those imposed upon Russian oil have somewhat backfired. Although oil exports have dropped by 10%, several factors have skyrocketed Russia’s earning potential.

Oil is much easier to transport than natural gas, so getting it to destinations is of less concern. There’s also a global shortage of heavy sour crude – the kind that comes from Russia’s Urals – which has driven up prices significantly. Europe’s sanction strategy targeted financing and insurance, but Russia has circumvented these restrictions via state-sponsored insurance programs and old tanker purchases.

Thanks to Europe’s phased implementation of sanctions, the Russians had ample time to find loopholes and undermine this system. The Europeans may have to come up with some more “direct” tactics to put the hurt on the Russians.

This situation remains unpredictable; we could see Ukrainian strikes on Russian ports or even some insurance claims will stir the pot. But If oil sanctions were as effective as the sanctions on natural gas, the dynamics of this war would be fundamentally changed.

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Russian Oil Thrives Despite European Sanctions (Here's How...) || Peter Zeihan

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