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Swiss trading giant Vitol plans to pare back the volume of Russian oil it handles over the next few months, with the aim of ending its trading of Russian barrels completely by year's end, according to news reports. While many countries have announced sanctions against Russia over its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, few have banned imports of its oil and gas. Nevertheless, big names in the industry such as Shell and BP have announced plans to cut business ties with Russia, walking away from investments in the country and pledging to stop buying its oil. Vitol markets over 7.5 million b/d of crude oil and refined products from around the world and reportedly made a net profit of some $4 billion last year. It is one of a group of big Western trading firms that are under mounting pressure to follow the example of the big Western oil and gas producers. Other big trading firms — namely Trafigura, Gunvor and Glencore — say they will not enter into any new contracts in Russia, and are also cutting back volumes.

Oil Trade, Sanctions, Oil Supply
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