The United States has replaced Russia as the main exporter of oil to the countries of the European Union. In December, 18 percent of the oil imported by the European Union went to the United States, Eurostat reported on Tuesday.
Russia's share, until recently the largest supplier of oil to Europe, fell from 31 percent last January to 4 percent in December. A year ago, the US share was 13%. Norway became the second largest supplier of oil to the countries of the European Union. It accounted for 17 percent of oil supplies.
Russia's direct invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 forced many European countries to cut imports of Russian energy resources - oil, natural gas and coal - in order to deprive the Kremlin of currency funds to wage war. In December, the European Union banned the import of Russian oil transported by tankers and set a price ceiling for oil exported from Russia. It is now 60 dollars per barrel.
The European Union also sharply reduced the import of Russian gas. Imports fell from 31 percent in the first quarter of last year to 19 percent in December. Norway has taken Russia's place as the main supplier of gas to the European Union. 31 percent of gas consumed by EU countries is currently imported from Norway. The USA became the second largest gas exporter. They account for 20 percent of the natural gas imported by the European Union.
"By the end of 2022, the United States, Norway and Kazakhstan will become the largest oil suppliers to EU countries. Thus, the EU has shown its ability to adapt to the changing situation on the oil market and practically get rid of its dependence on Russian oil," Eurostat said in a statement.
Last year, Russia significantly increased its oil exports to India and China, which bought it at a significant discount and, according to Russian Energy Minister Mykola Shulginov, managed to increase the total volume of oil exported. At the same time, the Ministry of Energy predicts a drop in oil and gas production in 2023 in Russia due to a decrease in their purchases by European countries.