Russia earns 10,000 euros every second from sale of oil, gas and coal

Who still buys Russian fossil fuels in 2023?

It is widely believed that Russia’s revenues from the export of fossil fuels have plummeted dramatically since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022, and Western sanctions play a major role. Some sources claim quite the opposite.

It’s difficult to corroborate the data accurately, because the Kremlin has classified the statistics on sales of coal, gas, and oil.

Although Russia has lost some markets as a result of collective boycott and sanctions, many countries continue to import millions of dollars a day worth of fossil fuels from the Russian Federation.  

China remains Russia’s top buyer of fossil fuels, with imports reaching 30 billion dollars in January till mid-June 2023, and crude oil accounted for nearly 80% of Chinese imports. Yet, Russia’s average daily revenues from exports to China declined from 210 million dollars in 2022 to 178 million dollars in 2023, mainly because of the falling price of Russian crude oil, according to VisualCapitalist, which cited the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).

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Russia’s revenue from fossil fuels exported to the E.U.

has declined more than 90% from their peak in March 2022. In the first half of 2023, the bloc paid 18.4 billion dollars for Russian fossil fuels, with a 60/40 split of crude oil and natural gas respectively, but no imports of coal since August 2022.

Although crude oil is Russia’s chief fossil fuel export, the nation’s Urals crude traded at a 20 dollars per barrel discount to Brent crude throughout most of 2023. While this discount has narrowed to around 16 dollars following Russia’s announcement of further oil export cuts of 500,000 barrels per day, the price of Urals crude oil remains just 40 cents below the 60-dollar price cap put in place by G7 and EU nations.

Here’s a list of top 20 importers of Russian fossil fuels, based on VisualCapitalist graphics:

According to CREA estimates in euros, which collected from CREA's online tracker, since the beginning of the war, Russia earned 536 billion euros in revenue from fossil fuel exports. European Union countries purchased for more than 179 billion.

On average, Russian earns more than 10,000 euros every second from the sale of oil, gas and coal globally.

The online tracker run by the CREA shows that the European Union continues to dominate the purchases of Russian fossil fuels from the beginning of the war in Ukraine until late October. The figures in the graphics below are different 

Please note that the data from VisualCapitalist and CREA russianfossiltracker may not come up in agreement. Neither source has responded to our request for explanation by the time this story got published. 


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