Article

European Union will pour
Russian oil into test tubes

Written by The Frontier Post

Nikolay Makeev

European policy to-wards Russian oil, at first glance, rem-ains extremely aggressive, but at the same time it demonstrates undisguised confusion and inconsistency. On the one hand, Brussels urged EU importers to guarantee the absence of any admixture of “black gold” varieties from our country in contracts. On the other hand, he did not rush into a moratorium on insura-nce of tankers with Russ-ian raw materials and po-stponed the introduction of a “ceiling” on prices for our energy resources until the end of the year.
Brussels published a recommendation to importers to include in contracts for the purchase and further sale of liquid hydrocarbons a clause on the absence of Russian varieties in the volumes of oil supplied to the continent’s market in the Official Journal of the European Union on August 3. The meaning of such an obligation is as follows: when importing “black gold” into the territory of the Old World, each exporter must confirm that his fuel does not contain a single barrel of raw materials from our country. A special chemical analysis can be carried out as a verification of this condition, and traders who neglect the new requirements will have to “be responsible for any incorrect statements.” An exception to the rule may be cases where “the exact proportion of a product not supplied from Russia.
Brussels’ claims are well founded. The creation of an oil blend, where the share of Russian raw materials does not exceed half of the volume, was considered almost the main legal way to overcome European san-ctions in the event of a co-mplete moratorium on the export of “black gold” from our country. Similar tricks were used by the producers of Venezuela and Iran, w-hich are also subject to raw material restrictions. It is worth noting that Shell was the first to announce such a possibility in April, which until recently participated in Russian mining projects. The Anglo-Dutch company decided to sell the so-called “Latvian blend” to the European market, which could be blended in the Baltic port city of Ventspils.
The initiative has received support in other regions of the world close to European consumers. As Bloomberg reports, in July, hydrocarbons from our country began to be transshipped onto ships unrelated to Russia in the small Egyptian port of El-Hamra, located in the Nile Delta. A mix was also made there, mixing with raw materials with oil of a different origin. In turn, according to The Wall Street Journal, Indian companies began to secretly make money on R-ussian hydrocarbons, using raw fuel to produce not on-ly a wide range of motor fu-els – gasoline or diesel, but also to produce chemicals.
According to Igor Yus-hkov, a leading expert of the National Energy Secu-rity Fund and the Financial University under the Gov-ernment of the Russian Fe-deration, the process of chemical analysis of any oil entering the European market will require the organization of a new control system akin to the customs service. In each of the transshipment ports, special laboratories will have to be created, the headquarters of professional chemists will be involved, and regulations and test parameters will be approved. The timing of the shipment of raw materials will be constantly disrupted, which will cause indignation on the part of buyers and suppliers of en-ergy resources. Disagreem-ents over renegotiation are likely to be referred to the courts, which will delay the sale of raw materials and exacerbate the situation of European consumers, who in the current circumstances are already just one step away from an energy crisis.
In connection with the fact that the “toxicity” of the fuel offered to Europe, apparently, will be assessed only on paper. Then a lot of additional questions will arise: in particular, if the exporter indicates in the accompanying documentation that only 30% of oil from our country is present in his deliveries, he will be able to unload “non-toxic” 70% of the cargo at the port, although the main consignment will still contain Russian hydrocarbons.
“Oil probes will only complicate life for the end consumers of the European community: interruptions in the delivery of raw materials will cause new price hikes and have an extremely negative impact on the provision of energy resources to the inhabitants of the Old World, who are already universally encouraged to save extra kilowatts and heat their houses with brushwood,” predicts an investment strategist of UK Arikapital Sergei Suverov. — Meanwhile, the awareness of the approaching crisis situation is reflected in the anti-Russian measures of the EU. Just the other day, Brussels postponed the introduction of a ban on insurance of tankers carrying Russian oil to states outside the European Union. Taking advantage of such an “outlet”, our manufacturers will be able to finally reorient foreign supplies to the Asian region.

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