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The Countries Buying Russian Fossil Fuels Since the Invasion

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Bar chart of top importing nations of Russian fossil fuels

The Countries Buying Russian Fossil Fuels Since the Invasion

A year on from Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine, Russian fossil fuel exports are still flowing to various nations around the world.

According to estimates from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), since the invasion started about a year ago, Russia has made more than $315 billion in revenue from fossil fuel exports around the world, with nearly half ($149 billion) coming from EU nations.

This graphic uses data from the CREA to visualize the countries that have bought the most Russian fossil fuels since the invasion, showcasing the billions in revenue Russia has made from these exports.

Top Importers of Russian Fossil Fuels

As one might expect, China has been the top buyer of Russian fossil fuels since the start of the invasion. Russia’s neighbor and informal ally has primarily imported crude oil, which has made up more than 80% of its imports totaling more than $55 billion since the start of the invasion.

The EU’s largest economy, Germany, is the second-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels, largely due to its natural gas imports worth more than $12 billion alone.

CountryTotal Value of Russian Fossil Fuel Imports*Crude OilNatural GasCoal
🇨🇳 China$66.6B$54.9B$6.1B$5.7B
🇩🇪 Germany$26.1B$13.3B$12.1B$0.7B
🇹🇷 Turkey$25.9B$14.8B$7.5B$3.6B
🇮🇳 India$24.1B$20.8B$0$3.3B
🇳🇱 Netherlands$18.0B$16.2B$0.8B$1.0B
🇮🇹 Italy$14.8B$8.7B$5.6B$0.4B
🇵🇱 Poland$12.1B$8.9B$2.9B$0.3B
🇫🇷 France$9.5B$5.2B$4.2B$0.2B
🇧🇪 Belgium$9.2B$5.5B$3.5B$0.2B
🇭🇺 Hungary$8.6B$2.7B$5.9B$0
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$6.4B$3.9B$2.5B$0
🇸🇰 Slovakia$6.2B$3.1B$3.1B$0
🇯🇵 Japan$6.0B$0.6B$3.7B$1.7B
🇰🇷 South Korea$6.0B$1.8B$0.8B$3.5B
🇪🇸 Spain$5.8B$2.7B$2.9B$0.2B
🇦🇹 Austria$5.7B$0.1B$5.6B$0
🇪🇬 Egypt$5.4B$4.9B$0$0.4B
🇬🇷 Greece$4.5B$4.3B$0.2B$0
🇨🇿 Czechia$4.2B$2.7B$1.5B$0
🇦🇪 UAE$4.1B$4.1B$0$0.1B

*Over the time period of Feb 24, 2022 to Feb 26, 2023 in U.S. dollars

Turkey, a member of NATO but not of the EU, closely follows Germany as the third-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels since the invasion. The country is likely to overtake Germany soon, as not being part of the EU means it isn’t affected by the bloc’s Russian import bans put in place over the last year.

Although more than half of the top 20 fossil fuel importing nations are from the EU, nations from the bloc and the rest of Europe have been curtailing their imports as bans and price caps on Russian coal imports, crude oil seaborne shipments, and petroleum product imports have come into effect.

Russia’s Declining Fossil Fuel Revenues

The EU’s bans and price caps have resulted in a decline of daily fossil fuel revenues from the bloc of nearly 85%, falling from their March 2022 peak of $774 million per day to $119 million as of February 22nd, 2023.

Although India has stepped up its fossil fuel imports in the meantime, from $3 million daily on the day of the invasion to $81 million per day as of February 22nd of this year, this increase doesn’t come close to making up the $655 million hole left by EU nations’ reduction in imports.

Similarly, even if African nations have doubled their Russian fuel imports since December of last year, Russian seaborne oil product exports have still declined by 21% overall since January according to S&P Global.

Other Factors Impacting Revenues

Overall, from their peak on March 24th of around $1.17 billion in daily revenue, Russian fossil fuel revenues have declined by more than 50% to just $560 million daily.

Along with the EU’s reductions in purchases, a key contributing factor has been the decline in Russian crude oil’s price, which has also declined by nearly 50% since the invasion, from $99 a barrel to $50 a barrel today.

Whether these declines will continue is yet to be determined. That said, the EU’s 10th set of sanctions, announced on February 25th, ban the import of bitumen, related materials like asphalt, synthetic rubbers, and carbon blacks and are estimated to reduce overall Russian export revenues by almost $1.4 billion.

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Energy Shift

Visualizing Global Energy Production in 2023

Fossil fuels accounted for 81% of the energy mix.

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Pie chart showing energy production by source in 2023.

Visualizing Global Energy Production in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Global primary energy consumption reached a new record of 620 exajoules (EJ) for the second consecutive year in 2023, up from 607 exajoules in 2022.

This graphic shows the sources of energy used globally in 2023, measured in exajoules. Data is from the 2024 Statistical Review of World Energy by the Energy Institute, released in June 2024.

Fossil Fuels Accounted for 81% of the Energy Mix

Despite efforts to decarbonize the economy, fossil fuels still accounted for over 80% of the global energy mix in 2023.

Oil was responsible for 32% of the energy consumed around the world, followed by coal (26%) and then natural gas (23%).

Energy SourceConsumption in exajoulePercentage (%)Fossil Fuel
Oil19632%Yes
Coal16426%Yes
Natural Gas14423%Yes
Hydro-electric406%No
Nuclear Energy254%No
Other Renewables518%No
Total620100%

The Asia-Pacific region was responsible for nearly 80% of global coal output, with significant contributions from Australia, China, India, and Indonesia.

Global coal consumption also continued to rise, exceeding 164 EJ for the first time ever.

China remains the largest consumer of coal, accounting for 56% of the world’s total consumption. However, in 2023, India’s coal consumption exceeded the combined total of Europe and North America for the first time.

Oil consumption, in particular, rebounded strongly last year compared to 2022, largely due to China relaxing its zero-COVID lockdown policies.

Renewables’ share of total primary energy consumption reached 14.6%, an increase of 0.4% over the previous year. Together with nuclear, they represented roughly 19% of total primary energy consumption.

Renewables like solar and wind accounted for 8% of the energy generated in 2023, followed by hydroelectric (6%) and nuclear (4%).

Editor’s Note: The graphic was updated on July 16, 2024, to correct an error in the fossil fuel values.

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Energy Shift

Visualized: The Growth of Clean Energy Stocks

Visual Capitalist partnered with EnergyX to analyze five major clean energy stocks and explore the factors driving this growth.

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This line chart shows the growth of clean energy stocks and hints at their cumulative five-year returns.

The Growth of Clean Energy Stocks

Over the last few years, energy investment trends have shifted from fossil fuels to renewable and sustainable energy sources. Long-term energy investors now see significant returns from clean energy stocks, especially compared to those invested in fossil fuels alone.

For this graphic, Visual Capitalist has collaborated with EnergyX to examine the rise of clean energy stocks and gain a deeper understanding of the factors driving this growth.

Sustainable Energy Stock Performance

In 2023, the IEA reported that 62% of all energy investment went toward sustainable sources. As the world embraces sustainable energy and technologies like EVs, it’s no surprise that clean energy companies provide solid returns for their investors over long periods.

Taking the top-five clean energy stocks by market cap (as of April 2024) and charting their five-year cumulative returns, it is clear that investments in clean energy are growing:

CompanyPrice: 01/04/2019Price: 12/29/20245-Year-Return %
First Solar, Inc.$46.32$172.28272%
Enphase Energy, Inc.$5.08$132.142,501%
Consolidated Edison, Inc.$76.55$90.9719%
NextEra Energy, Inc.$43.13$60.7441%
Brookfield Renewable Partners$14.78$26.2878%
promotional graphic with a button and wheel that promotes the EnergyX investment site

But how does this compare to the performance of fossil fuel stocks?

When comparing the performance of the S&P Global Oil Index and the S&P Clean Energy Index between 2019 and 2023, we see that the former returned 15%, whereas the latter returned an impressive 41%. This trend demonstrates the potential for clean energy stocks to yield significant returns on an industry level, sparking optimism and excitement for potential investors.

A Shift In Returns

With global investment trends moving away from traditional, non-sustainable sources, the companies that could shape the energy transition provide investors with alternative opportunities and avenues for growth.

One such company is EnergyX. The lithium technology company has patented a groundbreaking technology that can improve lithium extraction rates by an incredible 300%, and its stock price has grown tenfold since its first offering in 2021.

promotional graphic that promotes the EnergyX investment site
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