Global trade in crude oil is in chaos amid fears that more sanctions will be applied to Russia by western nations opposing its actions in Ukraine.
No official sanctions are in place on energy, with European governments so far making the sector exempt in a bid to prevent market rallies.
However, buyers are still refusing to purchase Russian oil, tanker companies are not shipping it, and refineries are seeking supplies from elsewhere rather than trading with Russia under the current political circumstances.
Indeed, Bloomberg reports that businesses with smaller compliance departments in particular are taking a cautious approach in case they fall victim to forthcoming sanctions or damage to their reputations.
It isn't only Russia that is being affected either, with Reuters pointing out disruption to oil trade in other nations close to the Black Sea that would normally use its ports and pipelines.
The International Energy Agency has said it will release 60 million barrels of oil reserves to try to help the situation, much of it from the US.
Russia usually exports around five million barrels of crude a day, making it the second-largest global exporter after Saudi Arabia. It has now said it will attempt to boost trade with China.