Saudi Arabia imported a new record 330,000 b/d of oil from Russia in April according to data intelligence firm Kpler, including a record 198,000 b/d of gasoil/diesel. Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular have increased imports of Russian gasoil since the 5 February EU embargo on Russian oil products came into force, capitalizing on pricing arbitrages. As TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné said in his firm’s Q1 earnings call, “the diesel of Russia was quickly rerouted: to Africa and South America… but also to the Middle East, where some producing countries prefer to buy some diesel with a good discount and to sell their crude with no discount, which is, by the way, a good transfer of value from Russia to some Middle East countries.”

Saudi imports from Russia have steadily climbed this year, hitting a record 94,000 b/d in February before breaking that with 192,000 b/d in March (MEES, 14 April) and then last month’s 330,000 b/d. However, Kpler figures suggest that imports have now peaked, for the time being at last, with only relatively modest arrivals expected in May. (CONTINUED - 182 WORDS)