Methodology

To track energy exports from Russia, we use a combination of sources reliably covering most of the data as well as apply assumptions to present the final result.

Data sources

RouteCrude oilOil productsFossil gasCoal
SeaborneAIS dataAIS dataAIS dataAIS data
PipelineEurostatEurostatENTSO-Gn/a
Railwayn/aEurostat

ENTSO-G data is available on a daily and near real-time basis. Eurostat data, however, is only available on a monthly basis till the end of 2021. To derive 2022 trade flows, we scale 2021 trade flows using y-o-y ratios in November-December 2021. Oil pipeline flows to the EU and China and gas pipeline flows to China are assumed to continue at 2021 levels.

Seaborne shipments

We track ship voyages between Russian ports and ports in other countries using data from MarineTraffic.com and Datalastic, derived from ship location (AIS) data.

A voyage consists of a ship taking on cargo and departing from a Russian port, arriving in a non-Russian port and discharging cargo. More complex trips such as loading cargo from both a Russian and a non-Russian port are excluded.

For crude oil tankers and LNG tankers, the type of cargo is known. We assume that oil products tankers and oil/chemical tankers carry oil products. Coal is transported by bulk carrier and general cargo ships which also carry many other types of cargo. We identified 25 “coal export terminals” within Russian ports that export coal. These are specific port locations that are associated with loading coal. When a vessel takes on cargo at one of these locations, we assume that the shipment is a coal shipment.

The amount of fuel transported in a shipment is estimated based on the cargo capacity (deadweight tonnage) of the ships, adjusted by the average ratio of ship capacity to reported customs volume. These ratios are calculated by aggregating the cargo capacity of shipments in the latest month with complete trade data (December 2021). Then we calculate the ratio of reported import volumes in that month to the gross tonnage of ships for each product. We then apply these ratios to estimate trade volumes on a day-to-day basis until the present.

Trade volumes and pricing of fossil fuels (i.e. oil, coal, and gas) are often not available on an hourly or daily basis, and neither are the terms for long-term contracts. To develop this counter, we, therefore, relied on some assumptions, as detailed below.

Pricing

Fossil fuels are sold under a variety of contracts including fixed-price, indexed to average oil prices and indexed to other spot prices. This means that the revenue to the exporter is not directly proportional to the current spot price.

To estimate the prices of fossil fuel trades in 2022, we first derive historical monthly average prices for imports from Russia to the EU from Eurostat, and to the rest of the world from UN COMTRADE, since the trade values are indicated both in physical and monetary terms. We then fit models between these historical prices and average monthly spot prices for the current month and with lags (Brent crude oil, TTF gas, Newcastle steam coal, Asian LNG, ARA coal). Models are built for main trading partners individually, and for the rest of the world as a whole.

Since the start of the invasion, the reluctance of many traders to take cargoes from Russia has driven discounted pricing of Russian oil. We apply the discount between Brent and Urals crude prices to crude oil exports to Europe and the discount between Brent and ESPO to exports to Asia.

Oil-indexed gas contracts have become less common over time, so we include a time interaction term in the model for pipeline gas prices. These models are then applied to current spot prices to estimate contract prices.

References

Eurostat: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/

ENTSO-G transparency platform: https://transparency.entsog.eu/ 

MarineTraffic: https://www.marinetraffic.com/

Datalastic: https://datalastic.com/

UN COMTRADE https://comtrade.un.org/Data/