Russia is sending its first crude oil shipment to Brazil as part of efforts to diversify the list of its customers, reported Reuters, citing traders and shipping data.
The sanctions imposed by the US and EU following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have limited the number of buyers of Russian crude.
After the EU put an embargo and a price cap on Russian crude in December last year, Russia has been heavily dependent on China and India as its primary customers.
Both India and China, which have been buying Russian oil at steep discounts due to sanctions, are part of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) alliance.
Although Brazil is a significant oil producer and exporter, unlike India and China, it sometimes imports crude for internal refining requirements.
According to sources and shipping information, the Russian company Lukoil is transporting 80,000 metric tonnes of its Varandey crude oil aboard the Stratos Aurora ship from the Port of Murmansk to Brazil.
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This shipment comes just after the 15th annual BRICS summit was held in South Africa from 22 to 24 August 2023.
In Brazil, the Russian crude will reach the terminal at Madre de Deus port, which is operated by Transpetro, a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras.
Varandey blend is a light sweet crude oil grade.
In recent months, other Russian oil grades have primarily been supplied to China and India.
The Brazilian Mines and Energy Ministry, Petrobras and Lukoil did not immediately respond to the news agency’s requests for comment, and there was no information available about the cargo’s buyer.