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Russian Oil Defies G7 Price Limit: Record Highs and July Surprises

July was quite the month for Russian oil. Going against the grain, it shattered the price ceiling set by the G7 nations, hitting highs not seen in eight months. This recent development in the energy sector was captured in the latest report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Crude prices globally saw an uptick in July, leading into August. A key player in this scenario? Saudi Arabia, whose decision to slash production levels catapulted Russian seaborne crude shipments to an impressive $64.41 per barrel. For context, that’s significantly higher than the $60 limit that the G7 had placed.

The IEA’s monthly oil market report shed light on these dynamics: “Amidst the Saudi output reductions and fewer Russian consignments, there was a surge in the price momentum, edging crude forward curves further into backwardation.”

This price elevation, coupled with reducing discounts for Russian oil, pushed Russia’s export earnings up by a notable $2.5 billion, rounding off to $15.3 billion in July alone. However, this is still a bit of a drop from the previous year’s record; we’re looking at a $4.1 billion dip from July 2022. As for the volume? Russian oil exports floated around 7.3 million barrels daily in July, as per the IEA.

Here’s a bit of a rewind for context: Western countries initiated the price cap last year, primarily to keep Russian oil in the global market but at the same time, clipping Russia’s wings regarding its conflict in Ukraine. An outright ban on Russian oil? It could trigger a drastic shortage, potentially sending oil prices skyrocketing.

The $60-per-barrel price cap had another ripple effect. Countries like China and India emerged as the go-to buyers, keen on grabbing those discounted barrels.

For the astute entrepreneur or investor, this scenario reiterates the intricacies of the global oil market. Decisions by one major player can set off a domino effect, influencing prices, trade routes, and international relations. As always, the energy market remains a thrilling roller coaster for those who know where to look.