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Who’s Still Buying Russian Fossil Fuels in 2023?

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Bar chart of countries buying Russian Fossil Fuels in 2023

The Countries Buying Fossil Fuels from Russia in 2023

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While Russia’s revenues from fossil fuel exports have declined significantly since their peak in March of 2022, many countries are still importing millions of dollars a day worth of fossil fuels from Russia.

Revenue from fossil fuels exported to the EU has declined more than 90% from their peak, but in 2023 the bloc has still imported more than $18 billion of crude oil and natural gas so far.

This graphic uses data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) to visualize the top-importing countries of fossil fuels from Russia so far this year.

China Remains Russia’s Top Fossil Fuel Importer

China continues to be Russia’s top buyer of fossil fuels, with imports reaching $30 billion in 2023 up until June 16, 2023.

With nearly 80% of China’s fuel imports being crude oil, Russia’s average daily revenues from Chinese fossil fuel imports have declined from $210 million in 2022 to $178 million in 2023 largely due to the falling price of Russian crude oil.

Following China are EU nations collectively, which despite no longer importing coal from Russia since August of 2022, still imported $18.4 billion of fossil fuels in a 60/40 split of crude oil and natural gas respectively.

CountryRussian Fossil Fuel Imports* (Total)Crude OilNatural GasCoal
🇨🇳 China$30B$23.9B$2.7B$3.3B
🇪🇺 EU$18.4B$11.2B$7.2B$0
🇮🇳 India$15.2B$12.8B$0$2.5B
🇹🇷 Türkiye$12.1B$7.3B$3B$1.7B
🇦🇪 UAE$2.3B$2.3B$0$0
🇰🇷 South Korea$2.1B$0.6B$0.3B$1.2B
🇸🇰 Slovakia$2.0B$1.1B$0.9B$0
🇭🇺 Hungary$1.9B$0.8B$1.1B$0
🇧🇪 Belgium$1.9B$0.5B$1.4B$0
🇯🇵 Japan$1.8B$0$1.5B$0.3B
🇪🇸 Spain$1.7B$0.6B$1.1B$0
🇸🇬 Singapore$1.7B$1.7B$0$0
🇧🇷 Brazil$1.6B$1.4B$0$0.2B
🇳🇱 Netherlands$1.6B$1.5B$0.1B$0
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$1.5B$1.4B$0$0
🇪🇬 Egypt$1.4B$1.3B$0$0.2B
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$1.3B$1.1B$0.3B$0
🇮🇹 Italy$1.2B$0.8B$0.4B$0
🇲🇾 Malaysia$1.1B$1.0B$0$0.1B
🇨🇿 Czech Republic$1.0B$1.1B$0$0

*Over the time period of Jan 1, 2023 to June 16, 2023 in U.S. dollars

After China and the EU bloc, India is the next-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels, having ramped up the amount of fossil fuels imported by more than 10x since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, largely due to discounted Russian oil.

Türkiye is the only other nation to have imported more than $10 billion worth of Russian fossil fuels in 2023, with every other country having imported fewer than $3 billion worth of fuels from Russia this year.

Navigating the Crude Reality of Oil Exports

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

Alongside Russia, Saudi Arabia also announced it would extend its cut of 1 million bpd until the end of August, with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman commenting on the country’s solidarity with Russia and saying it would do “whatever is necessary” to support the oil market.

While OPEC and OPEC+ nations’ cuts are an attempt at pushing crude oil prices up, increased production from the U.S. has counteracted this. The EIA forecasts 2023 U.S. production to be 12.6 million bpd, surpassing the high in 2019 of 12.3 million bpd.

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Energy

Visualizing Saudi Aramco’s Massive Oil Reserves

Saudi Aramco controls almost 259 billion barrels worth of oil and gas reserves.

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Visualizing Saudi Aramco’s Massive Oil Reserves

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Saudi Aramco controls 259 billion barrels worth of oil and gas reserves, which is unmatched by any other company globally. This is a key factor in the company’s massive $1.8 trillion valuation.

To illustrate that, this chart compares the proved reserves of major oil companies as of 2022. Data was compiled by Statista from various company reports.

Crown Jewel

Saudi Aramco is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia. As of 2024, it is the sixth-largest company in the world by market capitalization.

Its oil reserves are over four times bigger than the reserves of all the other six companies on our list combined.

CompanyProved reserves (billion barrels of oil equivalent)
Saudi Aramco258.8
ExxonMobil17.7
Chevron11.2
Total Energies10.2
Shell9.6
BP7.2
Eni6.6

Behind Saudi Aramco, American company ExxonMobil comes in second with 17.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, followed by another American company, Chevron, with 11.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Saudi Aramco produces 9 million barrels of oil a day, more than any other firm and nearly a tenth of the world’s total.

In addition, the state-run oil giant is the world’s most profitable company, generating $722 billion in profits between 2016 and 2023.

Saudi Aramco is also expected to play a big part in Saudi Arabia’s plans to diversify its economy and reduce oil dependence. Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman confirmed that the kingdom is in talks to sell a 1% stake in the state oil giant, which could help fund the country’s projects in clean energy and technology.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this graphic, which ranks oil production by country.

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