HOUSTON — The first shipment of Russian oil to the United States arrived on Wednesday, and U.S. officials hailed the delivery as a step toward reducing dependence on Middle East oil.
Mikhail Brudno, first vice president of the Russian oil company that made the shipment, said it would be the first of five or six to the United States this year. The 200,000-metric-ton shipment arrived in the Port of Houston aboard the supertanker Astro Lupus.
Brudno said the shipment from Yukos, Russia’s No. 2 oil producer, had been purchased by Exxon Mobil Corp. and another buyer, whom he declined to identify.
Yukos announced that it would begin shipments to the United States following a summit meeting in May at which President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an energy cooperation statement.