NewsTurkey pockets $2B in savings following surge in Russian energy imports amid Ukraine crisis

Turkey pockets $2B in savings following surge in Russian energy imports amid Ukraine crisis

Closeup of Ruffled Turkey Flag
Closeup of Ruffled Turkey Flag
Images source: © Adobe Stock | shaadjutt36
11:54 AM EST, December 20, 2023

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Turkey emerged as the largest importer of Russian energy in the western hemisphere, which prompted European countries to halt most imports of Russian oil and gas. While China and India imported more goods from Russia than Turkey, the closeness of Ankara to Russian ports made transportation cheaper, hence Turkish consumers saved more than others.

Supplies of Russian Urals oil to Turkey peaked at 400,000 barrels per day in November 2023, accounting for about 14 percent of Russia's total sea-borne oil exports that month.

In the upcoming months, supplies to Turkey are anticipated to increase further after the Russian oil producer, Lukoil, signed an agreement with Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR to refine up to 200,000 barrels per day at the Turkish STAR refinery, owned by an Azerbaijani company.

From January to November of the current year, there was a 200 percent increase in Turkey's import of Russian diesel fuel, fuel oil, jet fuel, and marine fuel compared to the same period the previous year.

Turkey receives discounts on diesel oil

This year, Turkey is making savings of $25 to $150 per ton of Russian diesel oil compared to the prices offered by other suppliers in the region, according to Reuters. As for oil, discounts range from $5 to $20 per barrel.

Viktor Katona, an analyst, commented that Turkish refineries have become some of the most profitable establishments in the Mediterranean region since sanctions were imposed on Russia in February 2022. Ankara abstained from joining the Western sanctions levied on Moscow due to the invasion of Ukraine.

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