Crude Collaborators: Who hasn’t committed to stop buying Russian oil?
Despite the global sanctions and widespread condemnation of Putin’s war on Ukraine, new analysis from the Stand Research Group (SRG) shows that the majority of Russia’s past foreign oil trading partners have not yet committed to stop buying the crude that funds Putin’s war machine.
Given that oil exports are over one-third of the Russian government’s revenue base, these companies – including ExxonMobil, Trafigura, and CNPC – are actively funding the continued atrocities in Ukraine. This analysis shows that unless something changes, Putin will likely still have the majority of his historically reliable oil money to continue this war for as long as he sees fit.
This proprietary research from Stand.earth Research Group (SRG) spotlights the dozens of oil companies that are continuing to buy Russian crude and using the convoluted nature of the global oil market to hide their involvement. The research into Russian export customs data from January to September 2021 reveals the complete list of 45 foreign-headquartered companies that actively traded or directly purchased Russian oil during that time period, and that the majority of those traders have yet to end their involvement.
U.S.-based companies such as ExxonMobil made public commitments to end their active operations in Russia, but they have not specifically committed to end oil trading, and have not said if foreign refineries, like ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam facility, are still importing Russian crude. This analysis shows that without further commitment, companies like Exxon are still complicit in the growing atrocities by continuing to fund Putin’s war machine.
The majority of international traders (78%) have not made any kind of commitment to move away from Russian oil. This represents 66.4% of the total historical trading volume, or the equivalent of about 3.5 million barrels of oil per day.
Only about one-fifth (22%) of the companies representing 33.6% of the historical trading volume have made some kind of a commitment. (note that not all of these are implemented yet or necessarily apply to all their purchases. For example, BP, Repsol and Switzerland-based Glencore are not canceling existing contracts)
By volume, China is the most egregious, with companies headquartered there representing 29.7% of the total historical trading volume. No Chinese company has made any kind of commitment to shift away from Russian oil. Singapore-headquartered companies follow at 15.4% of the total.
Switzerland has the highest concentration of foreign-owned Russian oil traders — 9 companies, of which only 2 have committed to stop trading Russian oil.
The top-10 traditional buyers without a current sourcing commitment are CNPC (China), Trafigura (Singapore), ExxonMobil (US), Marsa Energy Trading (UAE), Sinopec (China), Itochu (Japan), Mercuria (Switzerland), Petraco (Switzerland), Centrobalt (Estonia), and ChemChina / Sinochem (China).