The European Commission on Wednesday, May 4, proposed the sixth package of sanctions against Moscow in retaliation for its war in Ukraine, including a ban on Russian crude oil imports in six months. Yet the European Union faces an uphill slog to wean itself off energy imports from its Eastern neighbor.
Following is a summary of key facts about the EU’s use of Russian oil:
How much Russian oil does the EU import?
Europe is the destination for nearly half of Russia’s crude and petroleum product exports, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based agency gathering 31 mostly industrialized countries and much of the EU.
This represents 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil and 1.2 million bpd of petroleum products.
Russia is Europe’s biggest oil supplier, providing just over a quarter of EU oil imports in 2020, according to data from the bloc’s statistics office Eurostat.
Which EU countries import the most oil from Russia?
Germany is the top buyer of Russian oil in the EU at 555,000 bpd, or 34% of its total oil imports in 2021 according to the IEA.
Russia’s neighbor Poland brought in 300,000 bpd or 63% in 2021. Germany and Poland both sit along the northern route of the Druzhba pipeline, the main transit route for Russian oil exports to Europe.
In November, the Netherlands imported 74,800 bpd, or 23% of its total, though Germany imported more that month and the country exports rather than consumes much of the fuel from its giant oil refining hub at Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp.
Which EU countries are most dependent on Russian oil?
Countries of the southern route of the Druzhba pipeline running through Ukraine and Belarus are especially dependent on Russian oil imports.
Slovakia, at 105,000 bpd, got 96% of its 2021 oil imports from Russia, Hungary imported 70,000 bpd or 58% of its total share, and the Czech Republic imported 68,000 bpd or half its total, according to the IEA.
Due to their proximity, Lithuania depends on Russia for 83% of its imports, or 185,000 bpd originating there, followed by Finland at 80% and 185,000 bpd.
Bulgaria too is almost completely dependent on gas supplies from Russia’s Gazprom, with its sole refinery owned by Russia’s Lukoil, providing over 60% of the fuel used in the country. – Rappler.com