Tankers located in the waters near Ceuta, Spain are transferring crude oil from Russia to reach the Asian markets in spite of Western sanctions.
Europa Press News | Europa Press | Getty Images
Russia’s oil revenues rebounded in March and April to reach the highest level since November last year, according to a new report, bolstering President Vladimir Putin‘s ability to finance the Kremlin’s onslaught in Ukraine.
Analysis published Wednesday by the Centre for Research in Energy and Clean Air, an independent Finnish think tank, found that Russia’s revenues from oil exports have recovered from levels reached in January and February.
The findings show that Moscow has recently been able to successfully claw back earnings from fossil fuel exports despite the imposition late last year of import bans from the European Union and a broader G7 oil price cap.
It comes less than a week after G7 leaders said at the conclusion of the Hiroshima Summit in Japan that a price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products was working, Russian revenues were down and falling oil and gas prices were benefitting countries around the world.
This is a clear indication that the enforcement is not working.
Lead analyst at the Centre for Research in Energy and Clean Air
Energy analysts at CREA suggested the failure from the so-called Price Cap Coalition to revise price levels and enforce the policy had resulted in the measures “losing traction, integrity and credibility.”
“The EU has failed in its commitment to review the price cap every two months to ensure that it stays lower than the average market price,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at CREA and co-author of the report.
“This is a clear indication that the enforcement is not working,” he added.
A spokesperson for the European Union declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.
Russia’s oil revenue recovery expected to continue
At the start of the year, data showed Russia’s revenue from fossil fuel exports had collapsed in December. It appeared to underscore the effectiveness of policymakers targeting Russia’s oil revenues and sparked calls for even tougher measures to help Kyiv prevail.
CREA’s latest findings, however, show that Russia’s oil tax revenues rose 6% month-on-month in April due to the increase of export revenues in March.
To be sure, the Kremlin’s revenues were significantly below levels recorded in April last year, when oil prices jumped.
The increase of export revenues in March resulted in a 5% month-on-month rebound in Russia’s mineral extraction tax receipts in April, the report said — and an even larger increase is expected in May.
It means that after bottoming out at the start of 2023, Russia’s oil tax revenues have since recovered due to increased sales.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with the Supreme Court chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 22, 2023.
Mikhail Klimentyev | Afp | Getty Images
“The Kremlin’s tax revenue has closely followed prices for Russian crude oil, highlighting the importance of the oil price cap. The state is also changing its tax regime to diminish the impact of the price cap,” said Isaac Levi, energy analyst at CREA.
“Unless the price cap coalition takes action to lower the price cap level and plug the enforcement gaps, changes to Russia’s oil taxation structure will force the price of Russian crude oil closer to international benchmarks, leading to further recovery of Russia’s oil revenue and wholesale failure of the price cap system,” he added.
CREA’s analysis said that since the EU’s import bans and the G7 price cap on Russian oil, Moscow has earned an estimated 58 billion euros ($62.5 billion) in export revenues from seaborne oil.
The majority of which was transported on European-insured or owned tankers, it added. Russia’s revenues could be slashed by a further 22 billion euros if the price cap for crude oil was reduced to $30 per barrel and price caps for oil products were revised accordingly, CREA said.
What is the aim of the price cap?
The G7, Australia and the EU implemented a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil on Dec. 5. It came alongside a move by the EU and U.K. to impose a ban on the seaborne import of Russian crude oil.
Together, the measures were thought to reflect by far the most significant step to curtail the fossil fuel export revenue that is funding Russia’s war in Ukraine.
In February, the Price Cap Coalition followed up its crude oil price cap by imposing a $100 per barrel price cap on Russian petroleum products such as diesel and a $45 per barrel cap on Russian petroleum products such as fuel oils that trade at a discount to crude.
The aim of the price cap policy is to restrict Russia’s oil revenues while maintaining the supply of Russian oil. The U.S. Treasury said in an update last week that nearly six months after the implementation of the price cap, the policy was achieving both goals.
The Treasury estimates that Russia’s oil revenues have fallen to just 23% of the Russian budget this year, down from 30% to 35% of the total Russian budget before Moscow launched its war in Ukraine in February 2022.
The U.S. said this decline in revenue occurred at a time when Russia is exporting as much as 10% more crude oil in April 2023 when compared to March last year.
The first US-built offshore wind substation is sailing to New York
The first US-built offshore wind substation is complete and headed to South Fork Wind – a major milestone for the US offshore wind industry.
Offshore substations collect and stabilize power that the wind turbines generate, preparing it for transmission to shore. South Fork Wind’s 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation was designed and engineered in Kansas, and built near Corpus Christi by Kiewit Offshore Services, the largest offshore fabricator in the US.
The first US-built offshore wind substation left Kiewit’s factory on a ship late last week. It’s going to cross the Gulf of Mexico and then sail up the East Coast for installation off Long Island in a few weeks.
David Hardy, group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted, said:
The completion of South Fork Wind’s offshore wind substation is yet another first for this groundbreaking project and moves us one step closer to the project’s first ‘steel in the water.’
South Fork, which is being jointly developed by Danish wind giant Ørsted and energy provider Eversource, is expected to be operational by 2023, when it will become the first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm in US federal waters.
Cable laying is currently under way, and the installation of monopile foundations will begin in coming weeks.
The 132 megawatt (MW), 12-turbine project will produce enough clean energy to power 70,000 homes in New York.
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Read more: The first US-built offshore wind service ship reaches a milestone
Quick Charge Podcast: May 29, 2023
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ZParq completes $2.7M seed round to bring ultracompact electric marine motors to market
Swedish marine propulsion startup ZParq announced it has successfully completed a seed round led by cleantech investors, totaling 2.5 million euros ($2.68M). With the fresh funding, ZParq looks to bring its compact electric marine motors, powertrains, and other adjacent technologies to market to help decarbonize the segment.
ZParq is a young startup founded in Sweden in 2020, which, according to the company, was founded to challenge the limits of marine propulsion by providing the most compact and scalable systems for propeller-driven watercraft. Furthermore, the startup is striving to deliver products that are designed to be sustainable over the entire value chain. Per the company site:
Our founding team covers the span of electromechanical design, hydrodynamics, electronics and product design. We’ve been developing our technology to fill the gap where compact submersible electric propulsion systems are needed for high performance applications.
As you’ll see below, ZParq has already developed and sleek and compact portfolio of marine technologies, including electric motors, battery packs, inverters, levers, and even a steering joystick. Early on, ZParq joined the portfolio of EIT InnoEnergy – the largest impact cleantech investor in Europe, who was the startup’s first institutional investor.
Now, EIT InnoEnergy, along with a couple of other capital venture funds, have opened up their checkbooks to help get ZParq’s electric marine motors out to market and beyond.
ZParq’s electric marine motors are sustainable end-to-end
The startup recently shared details of its successful seed round coled by Santander (via the Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund) and Almi Invest GreenTech. EIT InnoEnergy also participated once again.
Each of these funds is focused around investments in early-stage companies developing new technologies to support a circular economy and combat climate change. Clearly, they see potential in ZParq – which is touting all-electric marine motors that are significantly smaller and more efficient compared to everything else on the current market.
ZParq states the motor’s light design reduces raw material and CO2 footprint by more than 50% in the production phase, and the circular design approach of its products helps reduce their environmental impact and climate footprint throughout their entire life cycle. ZParq CEO Jonas Genchel spoke to the successful seed round and the venture capitalists that have shown their support:
We are very happy to get Santander and Almi Invest GreenTech as new investors, they will provide us with the support required to finalize development of our first products and enable shipment to our customers already this year. Our scalable and modular technology has generated an overwhelming interest from boat manufacturers and ship builders globally, and we have customers within the complete range from small leisure boats to commercial vessels waiting for our powertrains. The company is currently in pilot phase with several OEMs and boat builders who are testing its 10kW and 50kW motors. It aims to have several units operating in water by this summer
It appears ZParq already has plenty of exciting electric marine technology in the works, including more powerful motors, so we will be sure to track its progress as these products approach market launch. A fresh 2.5 million euros should certainly help it continue to innovate and hopefully find success. More to come.
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