BRIAN EVANS JUL 15, 2022, 20:40 IST Business Insider India

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 14, 2019. Alexey Nikolsky/Getty Images

  • Saudi Arabia more than doubled its imports of Russian oil in the second quarter, Reuters says.
  • The move allowed the Kingdom to free up their own exports.

The world’s largest oil producer stepped up imports of Russian oil in the second quarter despite sanctions aimed at choking Moscow’s energy flows, Reuters said.

Saudi Arabia imported 647,000 tonnes of Russian oil from April to June, according to data reviewed by Reuters. Saudi Arabia took possession of the oil from Russian and Estonian ports, and has thus far imported 320,000 more barrels from Russia compared to 2021 levels.

The Kingdom’s increased willingness to grow its reliance on Russian oil is at odds with global powers which are trying to condemn the Kremlin and cut off its exports in response to its invasion of Ukraine in February. Reports say that President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia isn’t likely to yield a deal on oil, further straining price pressures in the US despite 20-straight days of decline prices at the pump.

The imports also allow the Kingdom to free up their own oil exports to reap in profits from the record-high prices on the international market.

Some of the Russian fuel made its way to Saudi Arabia through Egypt, accounting for some of the 110,000 barrels per day imported from Egypt in June. Meanwhile, Egypt imported 70,000 barrels per day from Russia in June, Reuters said.

Saudi Arabia uses oil for its power grid, especially important during scorching summer months. Many large cities in the Kingdom stretch far from natural gas fields, making their dependence on oil even stronger. Saudi Arabia typically runs through 600,000 barrels per day during the summer and roughly 300,000 barrels per day during the winter.