So far, sanctions on Russian crude oil have “completely failed,” and new price caps may prove immaterial.
The 27-member bloc has banned purchasing and importing Russian seaborne crude since December.
The bloc – along with its Group of 7 allies and Australia – imposed a price ceiling on Russian offshore oil, barring the use of Western-supplied marine insurance, financial and other services unless they sell below $60. per barrel.
They are part of a global effort to limit Moscow’s ability to raise funds for the war in Ukraine.
Although volumes remain strong, the price of Russian Urals crude oil blends has fallen to pre-war levels. The average price of the Russian Urals oil blend was $49.49 per barrel in January of this year. That’s below the $62 price ceiling set by the EU and the G-7 and down 42.5% from January last year.
Sankey’s criticism contradicts a recent Center for Energy and Clean Air Research report.
An independent Finnish think tank report said the first month of the EU’s ban on imports of Russian oil and the G-7 price cap cost Moscow about 160M euros ($174.3M) a day.
These measures are said to be responsible for a 17.5% drop in Russia’s earnings from fossil fuel exports in the last month of 2022.
Germany saved less gas than targeted
Germany saved less gas than needed in the second half of January, said Klaus Müller, president of Germany’s federal grid agency, Bundesnetzagentur.
In the fourth week of the year, German households and businesses again saved very little gas, with industry cutting consumption by 8.5% and households by 9.5%.
The German regulator aims to save 20% of gas in winter.
Last week, gas consumption increased by 8.3% compared to the previous week. Adjusted for colder temperatures last week, German consumption was 14.5% below the 2018-2021 average.
Still, Germany’s gas storage levels are well above targets and the five-year average for this time of year, supporting stock levels for the coming winter, the head of Germany’s gas regulator said.
As of February 2, the regulator stated that gas supply in Germany is stable. Delivery security is guaranteed. Overall, the Bundesnetzagentur sees the situation as less tense than at the beginning of winter.