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Pre-Ban Russian Fuel Oil Cargoes Sail for U.S. Ports

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March 21, 2022

By Chunzi Xu (Bloomberg) —

U.S. ports are set to admit more Russian fuel oil than they’ve seen in eight months under contracts signed prior to the Biden administration’s ban on such shipments.

About 9 million barrels of Russian fuel oil is scheduled to offload along the Gulf Coast and eastern seaboard this month, the most since July, according to oil-analytics firm Vortexa Ltd. 

Early next month, two vessels hauling more than 1 million barrels of Russian fuel oil are expected to arrive in Louisiana. The U.S. ban on Russian energy imports announced on March 8 in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine included a 45-day wind-down period to accommodate existing orders. 

Fuel oil is a partially refined crude product favored by refiners as a feedstock to make things such as gasoline. American refiners have been importing unprecedented amounts of Mexican fuel oil as an alternative to Russian supplies.

Roughly 196,000 barrels of Mexican supplies are expected to hit U.S. shores daily this month, according to Vortexa. That would be the most in government data going back to 1993.

–With assistance from Julia Fanzeres.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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