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Ukrainian attacks disrupt 14% of Russia's oil refining capacity – Pentagon

Saturday, 18 May 2024, 16:12
Ukrainian attacks disrupt 14% of Russia's oil refining capacity – Pentagon
Photo: Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia

Ukrainian drone attacks in early 2024 disrupted 14% of Russia's oil refining capacity and led to an increase in domestic fuel prices.

Source: US Department of Defense, quoted by Bloomberg; European Pravda 

Details: The loss of some of Russia's refining capacity led to a 20%-30% increase in domestic prices by mid-March and triggered an export halt to focus on meeting domestic demand. This is stated in the US Defense Intelligence Agency assessment, which was summarised in the report of Inspector General Robert Storch, who oversees assistance to Ukraine.

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Quote: "To mitigate the impact of these strikes, Russia banned gasoline exports for six months starting in March, began importing refined products from Belarus, planned to import from Kazakhstan, and prioritised shipments of petroleum products by Russian Railways, as opposed to other means of transportation."

Details: Although Ukraine's attacks on refineries in Russia are aimed at depleting fuel reserves and export revenues for Russia's armed forces, the United States criticises them as posing a risk to world oil prices.

The published analysis covers only a two-month period from the first attack on the Novatek PJSC’s Ust-Luga plant on 21 January to the attack on the power plant in Novocherkassk on 24 March.

At the same time, attacks on energy facilities "have resulted in a negligible disruption of electricity to the Russian military and civilian population", as "Russia has a robust generation capacity — the third largest in the world — and a high degree of redundancy in its grid," the assessment said.

Background:

  • In March, the media reported that the United States had allegedly urged Kyiv not to strike Russian oil refineries and other energy infrastructure anymore.
  • Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, stated that she hadn’t received any official notifications from Washington with a ban on Kyiv attacking oil refineries in Russia with its weapons.
  • US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was critical of the attacks on the oil refineries, questioning their impact on the war.

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