Saudi Arabia has ramped up imports of Russian diesel by both direct and ship-to-ship (STS) transfers, Reuters reported on Friday, citing tracking data and traders.
The Gulf state received its first cargoes totaling 190,000 tons of Russian fuel in the ports of Ras Tanura and Jeddah last month, the outlet said. Russia started exporting diesel to its OPEC+ ally after the EU and G7 embargo on seaborne imports of Russian refined products went into effect on February 5.
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Two cargoes with a total of 99,000 tons of diesel were loaded in the Primorsk port on the Baltic Sea in Russia and have been transferred ship-to-ship on another tanker heading to the port of Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia, shipping data from Refinitiv showed.
According to the outlet, another cargo carrying 30,000 tons of gasoil sailed from Russia’s Black Sea port of Tuapse. It also used ship-to-ship loading near the Greek port of Kalamata to transfer diesel to another tanker that had already discharged the fuel at the port of Jizan in Saudi Arabia, according to Refinitiv’s data.
STS transfers help shorten costly routes for tankers headed to Africa, Asia, and other destinations, the outlet suggested. While the EU and G7 nations have introduced price caps and restrictions on Russian fuel imports, Moscow has successfully diversified its shipments, with China, India, Türkiye, and other countries boosting purchases of its oil and oil products.
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Saudi Arabia will likely refine and re-export some Russian diesel deliveries, the outlet said, citing market sources.