October 4, 2022

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Europe’s Russian Oil Ban Could Mean a New World Order for Energy

2 min read

HOUSTON — The European Union’s embargo on most Russian oil imports could deliver a fresh jolt to the world economy, propelling a realignment of global energy trading that leaves Russia economically weaker, gives China and India bargaining power and enriches producers like Saudi Arabia.

Europe, the United States and much of the rest of the world could suffer because oil prices, which have been marching higher for months, could climb further as Europe buys energy from more distant suppliers. European companies will have to scour the world for the grades of oil that their refineries can process as easily as Russian oil. There could even be sporadic shortages of certain fuels like diesel, which is crucial for trucks and agricultural equipment.

In effect, Europe is trading one unpredictable oil supplier — Russia — for unstable exporters in the Middle East.

Europe’s hunt for new oil supplies — and Russia’s quest to find new buyers of its oil — will leave no part of the world untouched, energy experts said. But figuring out the impact on each country or business is difficult because leaders, energy executives and traders will respond in varying ways.

China and India could be protected from some of the burden of higher oil prices because Russia is offering them discounted oil. In the last couple of months, Russia has become the second-biggest oil supplier to India, leapfrogging other big producers like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. India has several large refineries that could earn rich profits by refining Russian oil into diesel and other fuels in high demand around the world.

Ultimately, Western leaders are aiming to weaken President Vladimir V. Putin’s ability to wreak havoc in Ukraine and elsewhere by denying him billions of dollars in energy sales. They hope their moves will force Russian oil producers to shut down wells because the country does not have many places to store oil while it lines up new buyers. But the effort is perilous and…

Clifford Krauss

2022-06-01 20:25:41

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