Russia supplies record amount of oil to U.S.
According to the Energy Information Administration's January-November 2019 report, Russia increased its oil supplies to the United States to record levels last year, despite difficult political relations and economic sanctions.
Supplies peaked in October, when Russia sold 20.9 million barrels of oil and oil products to the United States. That month, it bypassed Mexico and was second after Canada (136.5 million barrels of oil and petroleum products exported to the U.S. in October).
Most of the supplies were petroleum products - 16 million barrels in October. In November, Russia supplied a record amount of petroleum products to the U.S. - 17 million barrels.
Over the 11 months of last year, Russia sold 210% more crude oil to the U.S. - 31.2 million barrels - compared to 10.1 million barrels of the same period in 2018. But sales increased by only 163.5% - from $0.74 billion to $1.95 billion. The total value of Russian oil products exported to the U.S. for the reporting period amounted to $3.8 billion.
A leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Igor Yushkov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that this increase was due to the U.S. need to replace Venezuelan supplies, with Russian oil being the most suitable option.
"A lot of U.S. refineries specialize in refining Venezuelan oil, heavy and highly viscous, with a high yield of high-quality petroleum products. When the Americans started imposing sanctions against Venezuela, the question arose of where to get such raw material - and Russia's Urals oil, which is medium-grained, but quite similar to the Venezuelan, suits this purpose," Igor Yushkov said.
"As for the growth of petroleum products, this is naphtha, that is, primary processed oil, and fuel oil," the economist concluded.