German Economy Minister Robert Habeck says the government is preparing to take control of the country’s PCK refinery, operated by Russian state-owned Rosneft, as it scrambles to replace Russian oil to enable an EU-wide ban.
The PCK refinery in Schwedt supplies eastern Germany and western Poland.
Germany and Poland are now said to be nearing the end of discussions on a concerted effort to zero out Russian crude oil imports to Germany, with new sources re-routed through German and Polish ports.
PCK currently receives crude oil inputs from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline.
The new plan would see PCK inputs shipped through the German Baltic Sea port of Rostock and the Polish port of Gdansk through an alternative pipeline link. Habeck said the plans had been agreed, with only technical details remaining.
When asked if all-out expropriation of the refinery was a possibility, Habeck responded in the affirmative.
“We are in a situation where the German government must adapt to and prepare for all scenarios,” said Habeck.
Germany has succeeded in reducing Russian oil imports by over 20%, though some refineries still rely on Russian imports, which now account for 12% of Germany’s overall oil imports.
On Tuesday, Habeck said a full embargo was now “manageable” and it could be only a matter of days before Germany can withstand a full ban on Russian oil.
Just last week, Germany suggested it would not be able to implement a full ban on Russian oil until the end of the year.
Germany’s announcement also coincides with a Reuters report citing Italian officials as saying that the nationalization of its largest refinery, ultimately owned by Russian Lukoil, would be put on the Cabinet’s agenda on Thursday.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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