Russia oil sales remain high, profitable despite sanctions

Russia exported 7.4 million barrels of oil daily in July, down just slightly from 8 million daily at start of year

Updated: August 30, 2022 - 2:32pm

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Russia is supplying the global market with nearly as much oil as it did before invading Ukraine and reportedly making nearly as much money if not more than before invasion-related sanctions were imposed. 

"Russia is swimming in cash," Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, told The Wall Street Journal.

Ribakova said Russia has made about $97 billion from oil and gas sales this year with $74 billion coming from crude oil sales.

Before invading Ukraine in February, Russia supplied 40% of Europe's gas. After the start of the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin throttled the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany and other European nations, raising energy prices around the world.

Russia exported 7.4 million barrels of oil on average each day in July, according to an International Energy Agency report this month. That amount is down slightly from the 8 million barrels daily at the start of the year and exceeded the group's projections.

However, the situation could change once the European Union embargo on Russian crude and product imports comes into full effect, resulting in at least 1 million barrels daily having to go elsewhere.

"In the absence of (western) companies, in the absence of the technology providers, in the absence of service companies, it will be much harder for Russia to maintain the production," IEA leader Fatih Birol told Reuters.

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