March 24, 2023

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Russia stopped the oil pipeline to Poland says refiner PKN Orlen

WARSAW (Reuters) – BKN CEO Orlin BKN said:

The halt to supplies through the pipeline – which was exempted from European Union sanctions imposed on Russia after its all-out invasion of Ukraine – came a day after Poland delivered its first Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

“Russia has stopped supplies to Poland, and we are ready for it. Only 10% of crude oil comes from Russia and we will replace it with oil from other sources,” Daniel Opajtek, CEO of BKN Orlen, wrote on Twitter.

Orlen said it could supply its refineries entirely by sea and that stopping pipeline supplies would not affect shipments of gasoline and diesel to its customers.

As of February, after the expiration of a contract with Russia’s Rosneft, Orlen was acquiring oil under a deal with the Russian oil and natural gas company Tatneft.

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Tatneft and Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pipeline operator Miro said on Saturday that the transportation of oil to the Czech Republic, where Orlin operates two refineries, via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline, is proceeding according to plan.

The supply disruption came after US President Joe Biden visited Warsaw and Kiev in a show of support for Ukraine a year after the invasion. On Friday, the European Union approved the tenth package of sanctions against Russia.

After the invasion of Ukraine and before the European Union imposed an embargo on seaborne supplies from Russia, Orlen stopped buying Russian oil and fuel transported by sea.

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It said its supply portfolio now includes oil from West Africa, the Mediterranean, the Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico. It also has a supply contract with Saudi Aramco starting in 2022.

Seaborne supplies arrive in Poland via Naftopoort, an oil terminal in Gdansk on the Baltic Sea. It can receive 36 million tons of oil per year topping the quantities that can be processed by Polish refineries and used in part to supply oil to refineries in eastern Germany linked to Druzhba.

“Due to Naftoport’s capacity and the fact that we also have other ways to import motor fuels, customers will not feel any impact, while Orlen has been prepared for this for several months,” Mateusz Berger, Poland’s foreign minister in charge of strategic energy and infrastructure, told Reuters by phone.

(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki). Additional reporting by Jason Hovett. Editing by Helen Popper, Frank Jack Daniel and Alexander Smith

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