News / Economy

More Russian Oil Flows to China in Shift From Europe

An employee talks on a portable radio set at Bashneft - Novoil refinery in the city of Ufa, Russia, April 11, 2013.
An employee talks on a portable radio set at Bashneft - Novoil refinery in the city of Ufa, Russia, April 11, 2013.
Reuters
Russia is steeply ramping up oil deliveries to China, with Asia now importing almost a fifth of oil exports from the world's largest crude producer in a strategic shift meant by the Kremlin to end reliance on weak and saturated European markets.
 
Russia will increase oil supplies to China by 13 percent in July-September from the previous three months, a shipping schedule obtained by Reuters showed on Tuesday.
 
Together with supplies to the Pacific port of Kozmino, Russia will export around 750,000 barrels per day to Asia, or 17 percent of its overall exports of 4.4 million bpd.
 
“Russia has been losing its interest in Europe where oil consumption is stagnant. It's looking increasingly to the East,” Valery Nesterov, analyst from Sberbank CIB, said.
 
The speed of changes in export patterns has aroused widespread surprise as it took Russia only five years to re-route huge volumes, previously destined for European markets.
 
Russia first started supplying China by railway and then by a new pipeline while opening a Pacific port, Kozmino, in 2009.
 
The projects cost pipeline monopoly Transneft  dozens of billions of dollars and spurred criticism from some private Russian producers who said they all had to pay higher tariffs to Transneft so it could build the pipelines.
 
Private producers also said they benefited little from the projects as the main volumes supplied to China came from state oil major Rosneft.
 
The Kremlin oil major raised tens of billions of dollars from Beijing by pre-selling its oil under long-term deals in order to finance its growth and acquisition drive.
 
The shift in export route has also led to a gradual strengthening of Russian oil prices for European consumers, who had been used for decades to buying Russia's export blend Urals at a steep discount to benchmark Brent prices.
 
Over the past few years, Urals has repeatedly traded at a premium to Brent, including on Tuesday, as traders said Russian supplies to Europe looked thin, especially to northern countries from Russia's Baltic ports.
 
“That is a tight schedule for the Baltic again... It is  the Baltic which has to compensate for higher deliveries to  China,” a trader with an oil major said.
 
Urals trading at a premium to Brent means refiners have to pay heavily for the previously cheap oil, making life harder for them at a time of small profits, known in the industry jargon as refining margins.
 
“Next year and in 2015 it will get only tighter as supplies to China are set to rise,” the trader with a major said.
 
Rosneft agreed in March to triple supplies to China. It did not specify over what period, but it plans to increase deliveries by 800,000 tons this year on top of the 15 million tons (300,000 barrels per day) it already supplies annually.
 
Traders expect the volumes for China to rise to 17 million in 2014 and by 2015 they could amount to as much as 20 million tons, on par with Germany, the top individual consumer of Russian oil to date.
 
Urals crude exports via the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk are set to fall by 7.4 percent compared with the second quarter to 14.7 million tons, the schedule showed.
 
Urals exports from the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga will decline by 6.4 percent to 7 million tons, while shipments from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk will increase 3.4 percent to 9.95 million tons.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.