The United States has replaced Russia as the main oil exporter to the European Union. In December, 18% of EU oil imports came from the United States, Eurostat said on Tuesday.
The share of Russia, until recently Europe’s largest oil supplier, fell from 31% in January last year to 4% in December. A year ago, the US share was 13%. Norway has become the second largest supplier of oil to EU countries. It accounted for 17% of oil supplies.
Russia’s direct invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 forced many European countries to reduce their imports of Russian energy resources – oil, natural gas and coal – in order to deprive the Kremlin of hard currency funds for the war. In December, the European Union banned the import of Russian oil transported by tankers and set a ceiling on the price of oil exported from Russia. It is now at $60 a barrel.
The EU has also drastically reduced imports of Russian natural gas. Imports fell from 31% in the first quarter of last year to 19% in December. Russia’s place as the main gas supplier of the European Union has been taken by Norway. 31% of the gas consumed by EU countries is now imported from Norway. The United States has become the second largest exporter of natural gas. They represent 20% of EU natural gas imports.
“At the end of 2022, the United States, Norway and Kazakhstan have become the largest oil suppliers to EU countries. In doing so, the EU has shown its ability to adapt to changing circumstances in the oil market and virtually rid itself of its dependence on Russian oil,” Eurostat said in a statement.
Last year, Russia significantly increased its oil exports to India and China, which bought it at a deep discount and, according to Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov, managed to increase the amount total oil exported. However, the Department of Energy forecasts a drop in oil and gas production in Russia in 2023 due to a drop in their purchases by European countries.
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