Author of the article:
Published Mar 15, 2023 • 2 minute read
MOSCOW — Finland, previously one of the EU states most dependent on Russian oil, halted Urals crude imports last year while increasing purchases from Norway and sourcing barrels from the UK and the United States, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.
European Union countries banned all seaborne oil imports from the Russian Federation from Dec. 5 last year, but many countries had already scaled back purchases before then.
Financial Post Top Stories Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the Financial Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails or any newsletter. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300
Finland imported its last cargo of Urals oil in July 2022, according to the annual report of the state’s only refiner Neste Oil, ending its purchases of Russian oil, including under long-term contracts.
THIS CONTENT IS RESERVED FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.
Unlimited online access to articles from across Canada with one account Get exclusive access to the National Post ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition that you can share, download and comment on Enjoy insights and behind-the-scenes analysis from our award-winning journalists Support local journalists and the next generation of journalists Daily puzzles including the New York Times Crossword SUBSCRIBE TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.
Unlimited online access to articles from across Canada with one account Get exclusive access to the National Post ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition that you can share, download and comment on Enjoy insights and behind-the-scenes analysis from our award-winning journalists Support local journalists and the next generation of journalists Daily puzzles including the New York Times Crossword REGISTER TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES Create an account or sign in to continue with your reading experience.
Access articles from across Canada with one account Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments Enjoy additional articles per month Get email updates from your favourite authors Russian oil imports, at 1.5 million tonnes, accounted for just 17% of Finland’s total crude imports in 2022, down from 84% a year earlier. Shipments from Norway more than quadrupled to 5.65 million tonnes, or 65% of the total.
Neste Oil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Finland had relied almost exclusively on Urals as a refinery feedstock as the proximity of the Russian ports of Primorsk and Ust-Luga made for shorter and cheaper tanker trips.
The closest alternative to Urals in the region is Norway’s Johan Sverdrup grade, of which Finland imported some 3.5 million tonnes, or about 10% of output, last year, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Finland also took Norwegian grades Oseberg, Troll and Gudrun, and Forties and others from the UK. It imported 0.6 million tonnes of U.S. WTI.
The cost of Oseberg and Troll averaged about $103 per barrel in the year to March 2023, according to Refinitiv data, while the average price of Urals over the same period was $69 per barrel.
Johan Sverdrup normally trades a few dollars a barrel below Oseberg and Troll, traders said.
Transporting North Sea oil grades to Finland costs about $2-3 per barrel compared with Urals freight costs of below $0.50 per barrel from Russia’s Baltic ports to Finland’s Porvoo.
Although the shift in purchases added to Neste’s refining costs, margins were generally good last year as EU states reduced purchases of Russian oil products and global prices rose, traders said.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)