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UK to «phase out» Russian oil by end of 2022, says Kwarteng

The UK will cease importing Russian crude oil by the end of this year, British Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said, while exploring options to do the same for Russian gas supplies

UK to «phase out» Russian oil by end of 2022, says Kwarteng

London, March 9 - Neftegaz.RU. Kwarteng’s announcement was made as US President Joe Biden is widely expected to adopt similar measures in the US, though Biden’s are tipped to include imports of Russian LNG and coal.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing a new UK energy strategy, which could involve more North Sea oil & gas production.
In a series of tweets Kwarteng said the UK would «phase out» the import of «Russian oil & oil products» by the end of 2022.
He added:
  • This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand Businesses should use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected
According to Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) figures, the majority of Russian oil imports are fuels, which make up around 18% of the UK’s diesel demand and 5% of jet fuel demand.
Kwarteng also announced a new «Taskforce on Oil» which would support business in using this period to source alternative supplies.
He said:
  • The UK is a significant producer of oil and oil products, plus we hold significant reserves
  • Beyond Russia, the vast majority of our imports come from reliable partners such as the US, Netherlands and the Gulf
  • The UK would work with these producers during this year to secure further supplies
Prime Minister Johnson added:
  • In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions
Kwarteng continued:
  • The market has already begun to ostracise Russian oil, with nearly 70% of it currently unable to find a buyer
  • Finally, while the UK is not dependent on Russian natural gas – 4% of our supply – I am exploring options to end this altogether
Security «necessity»
Commenting on the announcement, SNP MP for Aberdeen South and SNP BEIS Spokesperson, Stephen Flynn, said:
  • The announcement only serves to emphasise the importance of our North Sea Oil & Gas sector – energy security is not a choice, it is a necessity
  • Aberdeen can and must play a central role as we move to secure both our own energy supply, but also that of our European neighbours
However, former Secretary of State for International Development and London mayoral candidate Rory Stewart was critical of the timeline, arguing that imports could cease «immediately»:
  • Pathetic.
  • The UK is not deeply dependant on Russian oil & gas, we can revert to LNG and other sources
  • This shoudl be done not 'over time' but immediately
  • Italy and Germany face an extreme challenge, but Britain can act more easily, and should.
  • At once.

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