Crude oil exports from other countries could pass through Russian infrastructure

March 29, 2022

Earlier this month, President Biden U.S. imports banned crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, coal and coal products originating in Russia. The executive order, however, does not restrict U.S. energy imports from other countries that transit through Russia or depart from Russian ports. Crude oil exported from countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan passes through Russia’s energy export infrastructure. Crude oil from Russia can be imported into the United States if it is marketed and loaded with a certificate of origin stating that the crude oil is of non-Russian origin.

Crude oil exported from Kazakhstan mainly transits through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) system. The CPC travels around the northern side of the Caspian Sea and across Russia, carrying crude oil produced in Kazakhstan to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Part of the crude oil produced in Russia is transported in the same pipeline as CPC Rating crude oil, but it accounts for about 10% of the crude oil exported through the CPC system.

Crude oil is also exported from Kazakhstan via the Russian Transneft pipeline system to Novorossiysk and the Russian Baltic Sea port of Ust Luga, as well as via the Kazakhstan-China pipeline to China. Most exports from Kazakhstan transit through pipelines through Russia or are shipped from Russian ports.

Azerbaijan’s crude oil exports are largely transported through the Turkish port of Ceyhan via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which does not pass through Russia. However, small amounts of crude oil are exported from Azerbaijan via Russia. Significant volumes of crude oil are not exported from Turkmenistan, but it can travel west to Ceyhan via the BTC pipeline or north to Novorossiysk from the Russian port of Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea via the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. In 2021, 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) were exported from Azerbaijan and 43,000 bpd were exported from Turkmenistan via Russia, according to data from Argus Media.

In 2021, most of Kazakhstan’s crude oil exports went to Europe, but some were received in the United States. US East Coast ports received 18,000 bpd of light sour crude oil imports from Kazakhstan, an amount representing less than 0.3% of US crude oil imports that year. Crude oil from Azerbaijan has not been imported into the United States since 2018, and crude oil from Turkmenistan has never been imported into the United States.

Main contributors: Tejasvi Raghuver, Justine Barden, Hilary Hooper