Sunday, August 14, 2022

Hawaii suspends Russian oil imports after Ukraine invasion

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HONOLULU — Hawaii won’t be importing Russian oil after the owner of the state’s oil refinery decided to suspend purchases of Russian crude in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Par Pacific Holdings Inc. of Houston said it would meet island fuel needs with other sources principally from North and South America, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Russian oil has accounted for up to a third of Hawaii’s crude oil in recent years, much of it used for jet fuel. Other sources include Libya and Argentina.

Nationally, Russian oil accounts for 3.5% of U.S. consumption.

Eric Wright, president of Pan Pacific subsidiary Par Hawaii, said his company has been buying a Russian grade called Sokol, which is produced around Sakhalin Island which is north of Japan.

Wright said contracts to purchase crude oil are made two to three months in advance of delivery, and Par Hawaii has contractual commitments for the purchase of Sokol crude this month. It doesn’t have contracts for Sokol that extend beyond March.

The company doesn’t expect its decision will meaningfully affect prices paid by Hawaii consumers, Wright said.

Hawaii’s largest utility, Hawaiian Electric, welcomed the change.

“We met with Par Hawaii and expressed our concerns about buying oil from Russia, and we heard from customers who had similar concerns. Par Hawaii’s decision to suspend oil imports from Russia is the right thing for Hawaii and for Ukraine,” CEO Shelee Kimura said in a statement.

Hawaiian Electric is one of Par Hawaii’s biggest customers, using 338 million gallons of fuel oil in 2021.

The utility said it has been given assurances that its supply of oil won’t be affected by the switch from Russian crude. But the company keeps a four- to six-week supply of fuel oil on hand for emergencies

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

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