Russian oil product deliveries to North Africa hit all-time highs earlier this year as volumes traditionally destined for Europe were forced into other regions. Much of the focus has been on the surge in Russian volumes into Asian markets, but North Africa has also emerged as an important near-home market for Moscow. On 5 February, the European Union’s ban on Russian oil products shut out sizeable and consistent flows, forcing this redirection into new markets (MEES, 24 February).
Most of the new influx of oil into North Africa is of middle distillates, which have displaced fuel oil as the primary Russian import. An average of 220,000 b/d of Russian oil volumes arrived into the region so far this year, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. This is more than double 2022’s 91,000 b/d average which in itself marked an annual record, with pre-covid levels having topped out at 61,000 b/d. (CONTINUED - 824 WORDS)