Finland, one of the main consumers of Russian oil in Europe, will continue to cut Urals purchases as part of its plan to switch to renewable energy. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced this in an interview with RBC.
According to him, the government intends to promote the implementation of low-carbon solutions in the energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aims to make the country carbon-neutral by 2035.
Now the share of imports in Finland’s energy consumption is 60%, Haavisto said. “Three quarters of imports are formed by oil and gas, of which more than 60% are imported from Russia. Carbon neutrality will undoubtedly reduce oil consumption, which will also affect imports from Russia, ”the minister said.
Deliveries to Finland are already falling sharply. In the first quarter, Finnish refineries purchased 2.1 million tons of raw materials from Russia, which is 25% less than a year earlier. In April, purchases fell by 64% – from 1.1 to 0.4 million tons.
Neste Oil, Finland’s largest oil refining company, which operated almost exclusively on Russian Urals, which tankers bring in from nearby Baltic ports, decided to reformat one of its refineries into storage, and at the other sharply reduced the load in order to modernize and start working with renewable sources. energy.
Already last year, Finland cut Urals purchases by 16% amid the pandemic and Neste’s announcements of plans to become the “global leader” in renewable energy.
The volumes abandoned by the traditional buyer will have to look for owners on the open market, which will put pressure on the price, oil traders working in the region told Reuters.
“These changes will not happen immediately, but it is already clear that Finland is refusing oil,” said one of the agency’s sources.
In January-April, Russia exported 66.65 million tons of oil to non-CIS countries, which is 20.5% less than in the same period a year earlier. In April, the decline was 16.8%, and the volume of supplies – 17.3 million tons, follows from the statistics of the Central Dispatch Office of the Fuel and Energy Complex.
The drop in oil exports, which brings every fourth dollar of foreign exchange earnings to the country, almost doubled the decline in production, which in April amounted to 7.8%, to 42.8 million tons.
According to the Central Bank, in the first quarter, oil exports brought the economy $ 20.2 billion – 5.4 billion less than a year earlier. Petrodollar inflows collapsed 21% despite the average oil price in 2021 was almost $ 8 higher than in the first quarter of 2020.