In 2021, Russia was the largest natural gas-exporting country in the world, the second-largest crude oil and condensates-exporting country after Saudi Arabia, and the third-largest coal-exporting country behind Indonesia and Australia. Although OECD Europe received most of Russia’s crude oil and natural gas exports last year, countries in Asia and the Oceania region received most of Russia’s coal exports.
Of the 10.1 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil and condensate that Russia produced in 2021, Russia exported more than 45%, or 4.7 million b/d. The majority of Russia’s crude oil and condensate exports went to OECD Europe, which received almost half of Russia’s total exports. However, at a country level, China imported the largest volume of Russia’s crude oil and condensate exports in 2021.
According to Russia’s export statistics and partner country import statistics published by Global Trade Tracker, China received nearly one-third, or 1.4 million b/d, of Russia’s crude oil and condensate exports. The Netherlands and Germany combined received about one-fourth, or 1.1 million b/d, of Russia’s crude oil and condensate exports. Russia exported about 199,000 b/d of crude oil to the United States in 2021, around 4% of Russia’s crude oil exports for that year.
Last year, Russia also exported 8.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of liquefied and piped natural gas, 36% of the 24.8 Tcf of natural gas it produced. In 2021, 84% of Russia’s exported natural gas arrived at its destination country by pipeline, and the rest was shipped as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Similar to crude oil and condensates exports, OECD Europe was the largest regional importer of Russia’s natural gas, accounting for nearly 75% of Russia’s total natural gas exports. Germany, Turkey, Italy, Belarus, and France received most of that natural gas. China and Japan are among the top 10 destinations, together accounting for approximately 10%, or 882 billion cubic feet, of Russia’s natural gas exports.
Russia exported more than half of the coal the country produced in 2021. Russia’s coal exports in 2021 increased by 7% to 262 million short tons (MMst). China imported nearly 25%, or 63 MMst, while South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan together received about 22% of Russia’s coal exports. One-third of Russia’s coal exports were sent to OECD Europe. Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Poland combined received 24% of all Russia’s coal exports in 2021. Thermal coal, often used for power generation, accounted for 90% of Russia’s coal exports.
First published on “Today In Energy.” Principal contributors: Hilary Hooper, Justine Barden, Tejasvi Raghuveer
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