Recent reports have revealed that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is buying Russian oil in significant amounts and then selling it onto the European market after disguising its origin. The practice of laundering oil is not new, but the fact that Saudi Arabia is involved is significant.
According to the reports, Saudi Arabia has been purchasing Russian crude oil at record levels since the beginning of this year. The oil is then being shipped to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where it is blended with other types of crude oil to mask its origin. Once the oil has been blended, it is then sold onto the European market, where it is marketed as a non-Russian product.
The Middle East is rapidly positioning itself as a prominent supplier of industrial fuel to both Europe and Asia.
The reason for this laundering of oil is thought to be due to the ongoing sanctions that have been placed on Russia by the US and EU over the country’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. These sanctions have made it difficult for Russia to sell its oil directly to the European market, and so laundering has become an increasingly popular way of getting around them.
Saudi Arabia’s involvement in this practice is thought to be due to its desire to maintain its position as the world’s largest oil exporter. By buying Russian oil at lower prices, Saudi Arabia can increase its own profits, while also undercutting Russian oil sales. Furthermore, by laundering the oil and selling it onto the European market, Saudi Arabia can maintain its relationship with the EU, which is a major importer of Saudi oil.
However, the practice of laundering oil is not without its risks. The blending of different types of crude oil can sometimes result in lower quality oil, which can damage refineries and engines. Furthermore, there are concerns that the laundering of oil could be in violation of EU regulations, which require oil to be properly labeled and identified.
They are adding stocks to Asia, as Russian oil only adds to the output of refineries in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The involvement of Saudi Arabia in the laundering of oil also raises questions about the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Saudi Arabia has recently made commitments to reducing its carbon emissions, but by participating in the laundering of oil, the country is indirectly contributing to the burning of fossil fuels, which is a major contributor to climate change.
The recent reports of Saudi Arabia‘s involvement in the laundering of Russian oil onto the European market are concerning. While the practice of laundering oil is not new, the involvement of a major oil exporter such as Saudi Arabia raises questions about its commitment to fair trade practices and environmental sustainability. It remains to be seen whether the EU will take action to address this issue, but it is clear that the laundering of oil is a practice that needs to be closely monitored and regulated.