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March 8, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 12:14pm

Australia’s Viva Energy ceases Russian crude oil purchases

The Australian refiner is due to receive two Russian-origin crude cargoes, which were purchased prior to the conflict.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict


Australian refiner Viva Energy has decided to stop purchasing crude oil from Russia, after the country’s military incursion on Ukraine.

With the decision, the firms join several other companies that have limited, paused, or exited business operations in Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine.

Viva Energy, which operates under the Shell brand in Australia, said it purchased two Russian-origin crude cargoes prior to the conflict. These cargos are due to arrive in Australia over the next two months.

In a press statement, the firm said: “Viva Energy has explored options to dispose of these cargoes, but there are no credible purchasers in the current market and, without these supplies, the company faces gaps in its refining programme and potential fuel shortages.

“These cargoes have been purchased from international oil companies, rather than from Russian entities.”

Australia’s other refiner Amopl said it has not purchased crude oil or products from Russia since the start of the war.

The two companies said that they source crude from diverse countries. This allows them to maintain supplies to support Australia’s transport energy market, which is not dependent on Russian crude.

Amopl said in a statement: “Our refinery at Lytton uses crude oil sourced from south-east Asia, Africa, North America, and the Middle East. Product supply chains in Australia also typically operate without any Russian oil products.

“Despite this, geopolitical events in Ukraine and current international sanctions are putting pressure on global oil prices and this is, in turn, impacting Australian retail fuel prices.”

Amid the Ukraine crisis, the US is considering a ban on oil imports from Russia, without the participation of European allies, reported Reuters, citing two people familiar with the matter.

A senior US official told the news agency that the US government has made no final decision but ‘it is likely just the US if it happens’.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the country rejected plans for a ban on Russian energy imports. It is also fast-tracking plans to expand alternative energy sources.

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