Reuters reports: From global majors such as Shell and Total to more modest Polish energy firms, oil refiners in Europe are cutting their longstanding use of Russian crude in favour of Saudi grades as the world’s top exporters fight for market share.
Russia has for years been muscling in on Asian markets where Saudi Arabia was once the unchallenged dominant supplier. But now Riyadh is retaliating in Moscow’s backyard of Europe with aggressive price discounting.
This has nothing to do with Western sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, which apply to energy industry equipment but not to oil or gas itself. Instead it is a commercial battle for customers as both exporters ramp up their output despite weak world oil prices. [Continue reading…]