On Saturday, the CEO of Polish refiner PKN Orlen (PKN.WA) announced that Russia had stopped the delivery of oil to Poland through the Druzhba pipeline.
This has prompted the company to seek alternative sources to fill the supply gap. Although the Druzhba pipeline has been exempted from EU sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, the suspension of oil supplies occurred just one day after Poland delivered Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
In response to the situation, PKN Orlen’s CEO, Daniel Obajtek, took to Twitter to assure the public that the company was well-prepared for such an eventuality. He explained that PKN Orlen would tap into other sources of oil to make up for the shortfall, as only 10% of the company’s crude oil had previously come from Russia. Additionally, PKN Orlen stated that it could fully supply its refineries via sea and that gasoline and diesel deliveries to clients would not be affected by the halt in pipeline supplies.
As of February, Orlen had been sourcing oil from Russia’s oil and natural gas company Tatneft after the company’s contract with Rosneft had expired. However, Tatneft and Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft did not provide any comment on the matter when asked.
The supply halt occurred shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden visited Warsaw and Kyiv as a demonstration of support for Ukraine, which came a year after the invasion. On Friday, the European Union agreed on a 10th round of sanctions on Russia.
Prior to the EU’s embargo on seaborne supplies from Russia, Orlen had already ceased purchasing Russian oil and fuels via the sea after the invasion of Ukraine. The company now sources its oil from various locations, including Western Africa, the Mediterranean, the Gulf, the Gulf of Mexico, and Saudi Aramco (as of 2022).
Seaborne supplies of oil arrive at Naftoport, an oil terminal located in Gdansk on the Baltic Sea, which has an annual capacity of 36 million tonnes of oil. Although this exceeds the volume of oil processed by Polish refineries, it also supplies oil to refineries in eastern Germany that are connected to Druzhba.
According to Mateusz Berger, the Secretary of State responsible for strategic energy infrastructure, clients will not feel any impact from the halt in oil supplies from Russia, as Orlen has already been preparing for this scenario for several months.
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