March 28, 2023 [RIGZONE] – The world’s biggest oil traders say they are still avoiding handling Russian crude and currently don’t plan to return to the business.
Vitol Group, the largest independent oil trader, doesn’t see getting back into the Russian market as a priority, said Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy, even though international sanctions don’t entirely prohibit the trade.
Trafigura Group Pte, Vitol’s close rival, isn’t handling Russian crude, CEO Jeremy Weir said at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday. That position is under constant review, but the company would need engage in significant dialogue with all stakeholders, including Ukraine, before changing it, he said.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Vitol, Trafigura, Glencore Plc and Gunvor Group Ltd. had been major traders of Russian oil, signing long term deals with its state-owned producers and investing in projects.
As the war unfolded, the firms mostly stepped away from the trade in condemnation of the Kremlin’s military aggression. They have remained out of the business, even as some governments, particularly the US, have proposed measures to encourage trade in Russian oil, while using price caps to constrain Moscow’s revenue.