Oil is the lifeblood of the Russian economy.
The EIA has a chart out this morning showing how dependent Russia’s economy is on oil and gas. The data come in the context of new sanctions imposed by the U.S., and threatened by Europe, for Russian muscle-flexing in Ukraine.
Russian oil firms have brushed them off for now but their longer term impact is more uncertain.
In total, oil and gas comprised 68% of all Russian exports, with crude oil and petroleum products netting them almost four times as much revenue as from natural gas.
In other words, it’s pretty easy to know exactly what part of the Russian economy to pinch if you want to get the country’s attention.
For comparison, here’s the U.S. export breakdown. Sixty per cent of U.S. exports comprise 122 different items. Fuel or heating oil and petroleum products make up just 8%. Raw crude exports are banned in the U.S.