Update: 09.08.2022 16:03
Moscow/Bratislava – Bratislava refinery Slovnaft and Slovak oil carrier Transpetrol confirmed the suspension of oil transit through the Družba pipeline. Both Slovnaft and Transpetrol informed ČTK about this today, according to them, the reason is problems regarding Russian payment for the transportation of oil through Ukrainian territory. At the same time, the Slovnaft refinery and its parent company MOL initiated negotiations with the Ukrainian and Russian parties to pay the aforementioned fees in order to restore oil supplies.
The export of oil from Russia is ensured by the monopoly oil pipeline operator Transneft. He announced today that the payment for the August transit, which he sent to the Ukrainian company Ukrtransnafta in July, was returned to his account. According to Gazprombank, which is in charge of the payments, the money was returned due to restrictions by the European Union. Ukraine therefore stopped the transit of Russian oil.
“The production process in the refinery currently operates without interruption and the supply of the market is smooth. The Bratislava refinery, in close cooperation with the national carrier, Transpetrol, as well as in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, uses all available reserves in the system for processing,” informed ČTK a spokesperson for Slovnaft Anton Molnar. The refinery said in early August that it was back to full operation after two months of planned shutdowns.
Slovnaft stated in response to the mentioned proposal, when paying the transit fees, that in the event of a positive statement from the Ukrainian and Russian parties, oil supplies could be resumed within a few days.
“The payment for the transportation of oil through Ukrainian territory was returned to the Russian company Transneft by the bank. For the stated reason, the Ukrainian company Ukrtransnafta suspended the transportation of oil through the Družba pipeline, from which it follows that the transportation of oil through the Družba pipeline through the territory of the Slovak Republic is currently suspended,” the director of the office of the head of Transpetrol wrote to ČTK Linda Vaškovičová. Oil usually also flows to the Czech Republic via the aforementioned pipeline.
Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulík will comment on the situation regarding oil supplies on Wednesday. In June, Sulík said that Slovakia had filled oil and oil product reservoirs to the technical maximum and that the state’s, Transpetrol’s and Slovnaft’s standby stocks would be enough for 126 days of oil and an unspecified number of days of diesel and gasoline.
The European Union previously agreed to stop importing Russian oil from December 5 and oil products two months later. The transportation of crude oil via the Družba pipeline will be temporarily exempted from the embargo, but according to Bratislava, Slovakia has obtained a permanent exemption for the import of crude oil via the Družba pipeline for its own use. However, the Slovak refinery Slovnaft exports most of its production. The mentioned embargo is part of the sanctions that Western countries have imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
Transneft: Ukraine stopped the transit of Russian oil through the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline
Since August 4, Ukraine has stopped the transit of Russian oil through the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline, which leads, among other things, to the Czech Republic. According to the Interfax agency, this was announced by the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft. According to him, the Ukrainian oil pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta has stopped sending oil due to non-payment of transit fees. According to the Russian side, the cause is Western sanctions. ČTK investigates the reaction of refinery operators in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The dispute does not concern the transit of oil by the northern branch.
Transneft said that the payment for the August transit, which it sent to Ukrtransnafta in July, was returned to its account. Gazprombank, which is in charge of the payments, said according to Reuters that the money was returned due to restrictions by the European Union.
The Druzhba pipeline starts in Russia on the eastern bank of the Volga and divides into two branches in Belarus – the northern leads to Poland and Germany, the southern through Ukraine to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. According to the Interfax agency, the transit of the northern branch continues to function normally.
Russia usually supplies around 250,000 barrels of oil per day through the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline. The main customers of this oil are the Czech company Unipetrol, which is controlled by the Polish group PKN Orlen, and the Hungarian petrochemical group MOL, which owns the Slovak company Slovnaft. The main suppliers are the Russian companies Lukoil, Rosneft and Tatneft.
The European Union agreed to stop importing Russian oil from December 5 and oil products two months later. The transportation of crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline will be temporarily exempted from the embargo. The embargo is part of the sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
As a result of the war in Ukraine, the situation surrounding the supply of Russian gas to the European Union has also become more complicated. Russia has limited gas supplies to a number of EU member states, justifying its action among other things by the problems surrounding the turbines of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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