Baltic Sea

Where is Russian oil going in Europe

T&E Analysis of Imports, Dependency, Trade Value, Ports and Pipelines.

Transport is the largest consumer of oil in the EU and the EU is dependent on imports for 97% of its oil products. One in four barrels of crude oil that supplies the block comes from Russia. In the context of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, this briefing gathers key information on the EU’s dependence on Russian oil.

Dependence on Russian oil is not uniform across the continent: Slovakia is the most dependent member state, with four out of five barrels of all oil products coming from Russia, while dependency on Poland, Finland and Lithuania is more than two-thirds. From 2004 to 2017, imports of oil products from Russia were relatively constant, exceeding 200 Mt per year. Russian imports have declined since 2016, with 2020 imports the lowest since 2000.

The EU and UK are Russia’s largest trading partners for fuel products (oil, gas and coal), accounting for 50% of revenues in 2019. However, in the recent context of the war in Ukraine, Russia has been synonymous with gas. It is in fact oil that generates the largest revenue for the country. In 2021, oil products sold on the world market brought in three times more money than gas. This is broadly in line with the value of EU imports.

The EU is linked to Russian oil by pipelines, but most imports into the bloc are via oil tankers and ports. About 70% to 85% of Russia’s imported crude oil is shipped from its western ports on the Baltic and Black Seas and in smaller quantities from its Arctic terminals, while the remainder is delivered directly through the Druzhba pipeline. In 2019, crude oil from pipelines accounted for 4% to 8% of total EU crude oil imports. The Druzhba pipeline supplies refineries in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The countries with the largest imports of Russian crude oil are the Netherlands, Italy, France and Finland. Only the 10 largest ports importing Russian crude account for 51% of all imports by sea.

Finally, the European Commission must include Russian crude oil in its forthcoming energy independence strategy. While the EU is heavily dependent on Russian crude oil, it is also one of the main sources of revenue for Russian exports and has helped fund its military.

Download the study.

Originally posted on Transport & Environment.


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