Polish refiner says Russia halted pipeline oil supplies to Poland

Moscow’s move comes a day after the Warsaw government delivered its first Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

FILE PHOTO: The gas compressor station, a part of Polish section of the Yamal pipeline that links Russia with western Europe which is owned by a joint venture of Gazprom and PGNiG but it is operated by Poland's state-owned gas transmission company Gaz-System, is seen in Gabinek near Wloclawek, Poland May 23, 2022.REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo
The gas compressor station, a part of Polish section of the Yamal pipeline that links Russia with western Europe [File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]

Russia has halted oil supplies to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline, the chief executive of Polish refiner PKN Orlen says, adding that the company would tap alternative sources to plug the gap.

The supply halt via the pipeline – exempted from EU sanctions imposed on Russia following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine – came a day after Poland delivered its first Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

“We’re effectively securing supplies. Russia has halted supplies to Poland, for which we are prepared. Only 10 percent of crude oil has been coming from Russia and we will replace it with oil from other sources,” PKN Orlen Chief Executive Daniel Obajtek wrote on Twitter.

The company said it could fully supply its refineries via sea and that the halt in pipeline supplies would not affect deliveries of petrol and diesel to its clients.

As of February, after a contract with Russia’s Rosneft expired, Orlen has been getting oil under a deal with Russia’s oil and natural gas company Tatneft.

Tatneft and Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft did not immediately make statements over the issue.

The supply halt came after US President Joe Biden visited Warsaw and Kyiv this week in a show of support for Ukraine a year after the invasion.

On Friday, the European Union agreed on a 10th package of sanctions on Russia.

Tanks delivered

Poland delivered four Leopard tanks to Ukraine already and is prepared to deliver more quickly, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday.

“Poland and Europe stand by your side. We will definitely not leave you, we will support Ukraine until complete victory over Russia,” Morawiecki said during a visit to Kyiv, standing next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Following the invasion of Ukraine and before the EU embargoed seaborne supplies from Russia, Orlen stopped buying Russian oil and fuels via the sea.

It said the company’s supply portfolio now includes oil from Western Africa, the Mediterranean, the Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico. It also has a supply contract with Saudi Aramco as of 2022.

Seaborne supplies reach Poland via Naftoport, an oil terminal in Gdansk on the Baltic Sea. It can receive 36 million tonnes of oil annually, topping volumes that Polish refineries can process. It is in part used to supply oil to refineries in eastern Germany that are linked to Druzhba.

Source: News Agencies