President Vladimir Putin said Russia will find new buyers both at home and abroad as some traditional customers reject its deliveries.
Shipments have been cut back as buyers look elsewhere or grapple with logistical problems. Even though most countries haven’t imposed direct sanctions on Russian energy sales in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.
For the first time, the Russian leader acknowledged publicly that the nation has export problems that require a solution, at a meeting with government and company officials on Wednesday.
In a meeting, which was broadcast on Russian state TV channel Rossiya 24, Putin said: “As for Russian oil, gas, coal, we will be able to raise their domestic consumption, stimulate higher complexity of feedstock processing and raise energy supplies to other parts of the world — somewhere, where they are really needed.”
The nation has been able to redirect some oil flows to Asia, luring buyers with deep discounts. The U.S. has banned outright imports of crude oil and products from the nation, and the U.K. is set to follow suit by year-end. Many key traditional buyers are refusing to take Russian oil cargoes, or have pledged to do so once contracts expire.
The International Energy Agency sees the country’s output down by 1.5 million barrels a day for April as a whole. In the first six days of April, Russian output dropped the most in almost two years to about 10.52 million barrels a day, according to calculations based on data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. The decline of almost 500,000 barrels a day from March production levels came due to overstocking at Russian oilfields and refineries.
The EU has indicated that it is open to wider energy restrictions as the Kremlin’s military aggression in Ukraine shows no signs of easing, but hasn’t agreed on any sanctions on natural gas. On coal, Japan and the European Union are planning to phase out Russian supplies.