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Europe’s Snub of Russian Oil Opens Door for OPEC’s Minor Players

(Bloomberg) — The OPEC nations which have stepped as much as change Russian oil flows to Europe aren’t the giants of the Center East. As a substitute, a few of the group’s minor gamers are serving to to fill the hole. 

Inside the cartel, West African producers are exhibiting the most important uptick in shipments to European ports, the place refiners are snubbing Russian provides following the invasion of Ukraine. 

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — two of the most important producers within the Group of Petroleum Exporting Nations — have largely kept away from further shipments to Europe, regardless of their ample spare manufacturing capability. 

Common shipments of West African crude to Europe reached 1.23 million barrels a day in March and April, up by 40% from the identical interval final yr and the very best stage since February 2020, in keeping with tanker-tracking knowledge compiled by Bloomberg. 

That bounce comes regardless of Nigeria and Angola, the area’s most important producers, struggling to extend manufacturing as they wrestle with diminished capability, lowered funding and operational outages. With output underneath pressure, the rise in gross sales to Europe has come on the expense of a 20% drop within the area’s site visitors to Asia. 

To make certain, the US has been the general prime provider changing Russian volumes in Europe. And if the European Union proceeds with plans for a full ban on Russian provides, the African nations could not have way more to provide. That would current OPEC’s Persian Gulf heavyweights — apparently unwilling to encroach on Moscow’s European buyer base thus far — with a possibility too tempting to withstand. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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