According to a recently released Wall Street Journal report, refiners and shippers of Russian oil are able to dodge Biden’s sanctions, namely by getting product to market through obscuring the origins of the oil.
Various fuels, which are believed to consist of Russian-originated oil at least in part, were discovered in shipments that arrived in New Jersey and New York last month, according to the report from the Journal.
A deeper dive on the origins of the oil, which involved consulting data from Refinitiv data, shipping records, and analysis from Helsinki-based think tank Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, revealed that the shipments of oil transferred through the Suez Canal and the Atlantic Ocean via Indian refineries have long been large purchasers of oil from Russia.
According to Lauri Myllyvirta, who serves as a lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, “what likely happened was Reliance took on a discounted cargo of Russian crude, refined it and then sold the product on the short-term market where it found a U.S. buyer.”
Reliance is a large Indian energy corporation.
“It does look like there’s a trade where Russian crude is refined in India and then some of it is sold to the [United States],” Myllyvirta added in her remarks to the Journal.
In early March, shortly after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden signed an executive order that banned the import of oil from Russia, alongside liquefied natural gas and coal to the United States.
However, caveat of this sanctions plan includes the fact that fuels tend to be made from a blend of different products, including diesel.
Earlier this week, varied leaders across the European Union agreed to reduce oil exports from Russia over the next six months in order to institute the allegedly largest punishment yet for the unprovoked, violent attack on Ukraine.