Europe increases crude imports from Angola as Russian sanctions upend trade routes
(Bloomberg) – Europe is boosting the amount of crude it imports from Angola as the continent’s ban on Russian oil upends typical trade routes.
More than 40% of Angola’s 32 crude cargoes for loading this month are bound for destinations west of the Suez Canal — mostly to Europe as well as the U.S. and Brazil — according to a survey of traders specializing in West African barrels.
That’s nearly double the amount from a year earlier, when just a quarter of Angola’s monthly supply was traded on western routes, the data show. Each consignment holds about one million barrels of oil.
Refiners in the European Union have been seeking alternative supplies following the bloc’s ban on crude imports by sea from Russia in early December. Angola, a member of OPEC, is one of Africa’s top producers.
European importers include companies that drill for oil in Angola, including TotalEnergies SE, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. They can opt to process the crude at their own plants in Europe and North America instead of selling the volumes to Asia.
As Europe takes more Angolan supply, fewer barrels are going to China, typically the biggest customer. Last February, China was the destination for about 55% of Angola’s crude exports. This month, it’s more than 40%.
The Asian oil giant has been taking more discounted Russian barrels, displacing its other suppliers.