LONDON, September 12. /TASS/. Indonesia is mulling Russian oil imports to tame energy prices on the domestic market, the country’s President Joko Widodo told the Financial Times on Monday.
Asked whether Indonesia would buy Russian oil, Widodo answered in the affirmative. "We always monitor all of the options. If there is the country [and] they give a better price, of course. <...> There is a duty for [the] government to find various sources to meet the energy needs of their people. We want to find a solution," he told the FT in an interview.
If Indonesia were to join India and China, the two countries that have significantly increased Russian oil purchases thanks to a discount offered, it would help Russia offset much of its losses from reduced shipments to Europe, the FT writes.
According to energy consultant Rystad Energy, from March to May, countries in the Asia-Pacific region scaled up imports of Russia’s Urals blend by 4.5 times in annual terms. Russian crude oil imports to Europe saw a drop of 554,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 2.04 million bpd to 1.49 million bpd over the same period. Russian-origin oil imports by Asian refiners (including China) saw a corresponding 503,000-bpd increase from the January-February 2022 average of 1.14 million bpd to a March-May average of 1.517 million bpd, Rystad Energy added.
Bloomberg reported earlier that Asia overtook Europe as the largest buyer of Russian oil for the first time in April with a number of European countries turning their back on Russian energy, and the gap widened in May. India and China are the largest buyers of Russian oil.