The oil titan ExxonMobil has shipped thousands of barrels of a controversial blend of oil from Russia to Britain, despite Western efforts to isolate Moscow.
Exxon’s Fawley refinery, near Southampton, has received a string of shipments of CPC Blend since the war began, according to tanker tracking data.
The oil is piped from Kazakhstan to a Russian port on the Black Sea via the Caspian pipeline system, and typically contains a small portion of Russian oil blended in along the way.
Products from the pipeline are not subject to US sanctions as long as they are mainly Kazakh in origin. The UK is expected to replicate this treatment when sanctions come into force at the end of the year.
However, Ukrainian officials have criticised the ongoing use of any Russian oil, saying it undermines efforts to weaken Russia amid its war on Ukraine.
Oleg Ustenko, chief economic advisor to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president, called last week for a “complete and immediate” embargo on Russian fossil fuels in Europe, including CPC.
Writing in the Financial Times, he added: “Business as usual serves only to prolong the war.”
Louis Goddard, senior advisor at campaign group Global Witness, said the Tory candidates for leadership should “fix the leaky sanctions regime.”
The Caspian Pipeline Consortium which controls the pipelines is 24pc owned by Russia’s Transneft, along with other investors including Texas-headquartered Exxon.
Exxon said: “Since the invasion, there have been no deliveries of crude with a certificate of origin issued in Russia to our refinery at Fawley – and none are scheduled.
“No ExxonMobil equity crude that is transported via the Caspian Pipeline en route to Europe is from Russia. Our deliveries through the Caspian Pipeline are certified Kazakh crude and not subject to sanctions at this time.”
The company added it supports “the internationally coordinated efforts to bring Russia’s unprovoked attack to an end, and [is] complying with sanctions”.