EU fails to agree on Russian oil price cap, say diplomats



By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS, Nov 28 (Reuters) - European Union governments failed to agree on Monday on a price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil, as Poland insisted that the cap had to be set lower than proposed by the G7 to cut Moscow's ability to finance its invasion of Ukraine, diplomats said.

"There is no deal. The legal texts have now been agreed, but Poland still can't agree to the price," one diplomat said. No new date for talks has been set yet, diplomats said, even though the price cap mechanism is to enter into force on Dec. 5.

If there was no agreement on the G7 price cap idea by next Monday, the EU would implement harsher measures agreed at the end of May - a ban on all Russian crude oil imports from Dec. 5 and on petroleum products from Feb. 5, Polish diplomats said.

Hungary and two other landlocked central European states secured exemptions from that ban for the pipeline imports they rely on.

The Group of Seven (G7) nations has proposed a softer version of the EU ban to keep oil supply to the global economy steady, because Russia supplies 10% of the world's oil.

It proposed that the EU and other global customers keep buying Russian crude, but only if its price is at or below a G7 agreed level. That would cut the Kremlin's revenues.

The G7 has proposed a cap of $65-70 per barrel, but Poland and some others argue this will not hurt Moscow because Russian crude is already trading below that range at $63.50 URL-E .

With Russian production costs estimated at around $20, Moscow has a very large profit from its oil exports. Poland, Lithuania and Estonia have been pushing for a price cap of $30 per barrel.

"The Poles are completely uncompromising on the price, without suggesting an acceptable alternative," the EU diplomat said. "Clearly there is growing annoyance with the Polish position."

Malta, Cyprus and Greece were worried the G7 cap proposal was too low, hitting their large shipping industries, but diplomats said they got some concessions in the legal texts and were no longer an obstacle to a deal.

The idea to enforce the G7 cap is to prohibit shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than the price set by the G7 and its allies.

Because the world's key shipping and insurance firms are based in G7 countries, the price cap would make it very difficult for Moscow to sell its oil for a higher price.
Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Alex Richardson

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.