It is the first full week of G7 and EU economic sanctions against Russia, and data compiled by Bloomberg shows that Russian oil exports has tumbled by more than half.

The report said that in the week that ended December 16, which marked the first full week after the ban set in, total volumes of oil exports coming out of Russia fell by 1.86 million barrels a day, or 54%, to about 1.6 million.

Also, the four-week average also dropped to a new low for 2022, Bloomberg said in the report published last night.

The global news agency also said that there were shortages of ships whose owners were willing to transport Russian oil from an export facility in Asia.

Also Read: EU Sanctions Against Russian Oil: Skeptics Still Not Sure It Will Work

However, observers say the data must be viewed cautiously, as variables like weather and cargo scheduling can sway week-over-week changes in flows.

Still, other evidence has emerged that the market for ships is tightening. US oil company Exxon Mobil is avoiding hiring oil tankers that used to carry Russian supplies, according to Bloomberg.
Global energy rival Shell has also made a similar move as the possibility of some Russian oil being left over in a tanker risks violating sanctions.

There were however, cases of “dark fleet” of tankers that have been assembled to move Russian oil below the radar, the oil majors are making it harder for those ships to eventually go back to moving non-Russian supplies, the report said.

It would be recalled that on December 5, the European Union banned imports of Russian oil by sea and blocked shipping and related financial services for companies transporting Russian oil.

Also Read: India Insists On Purchasing Russian Oil Despite EU Sanctions

At the same time, the EU and the G7 imposed a $60-per-barrel price cap on Moscow’s crude. The overall idea, they said was to stifle Moscow’s export revenue while still keeping Russian crude flowing on the market and preventing a supply shock that would spike prices.

For buyers abiding by the cap, some of the measures in the EU embargo are allowed, such as insurance. For those that pay above $60 a barrel, then they cannot access EU services for 90 days.

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