Nearly 62 million barrels of Russia’s flagship Urals crude oil, a record amount, are currently in tankers at sea, according to data from energy analytics firm Vortexa, as cited by Reuters.
However, traders are reportedly struggling to find buyers for some of the cargo as EU countries fail to agree on a possible Russian oil ban. Other buyers have reportedly been shunning Russian crude due to fears of future sanctions.
According to Vortexa, the volume of Urals crude oil on the water is triple the average recorded before February 24, when Russia’s military operation was launched in Ukraine.
“The headline numbers, showing Russian exports are still relatively strong, don’t tell the full story,” Houston-based energy strategist Clay Seigle said, as quoted by Reuters. “Russian oil at sea is continuing to accumulate.”
The number of Urals cargoes at sea with no set destination constitutes 15% of the total, also a new high, Seigle said, adding that some of the oil could be in transit to undisclosed buyers, while others could be unsold cargoes.
Most barrels of Russian crude oil have reportedly headed to Asia, mostly to India and China, while volumes headed to Europe have also increased.
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