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Germany Stops Importing Oil From Russia Via Pipeline

Germany halted imports of Russian oil via pipeline on January 1, following through on a previous pledge to stop buying Russian pipeline crude despite the fact that the EU embargo exempts pipeline flows from Russia to Europe.    

The EU embargo on imports of Russian crude oil by sea came into effect on December 5, but pipeline oil flows to landlocked EU member states are exempt from the ban.  

Nevertheless, Germany and Poland have said they will halt imports of Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline as of January 1.

The halting of pipeline imports will affect the refineries in Schwedt, in the state of Brandenburg, and in Leuna, and Saxony-Anhalt, which supply eastern Germany with fuel, according to the German press agency DPA.

Germany’s government has said that alternative supply to those refineries has been procured, DPA reports.

The German government put the local business of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft under trusteeship in September, handing control over the Schwedt refinery to the country’s energy market regulator. Schwedt is the fourth-largest refinery in Germany, it was 54 percent owned by the Russian state oil giant, and it received its crude from the Druzhba pipeline. The refinery supplies 90% of the fuel in Berlin.    

Last month, Germany and Poland reached an agreement that would see Poland supply enough crude to the Schwedt refinery to run at a capacity of 70% from January, meaning it will no longer need Russian crude.

Russia, for its part, claims that it had received orders for crude oil purchases from both Germany and Poland, despite the pledge of the two countries not to buy Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline. Russia’s pipeline operator Transneft has received orders for crude oil purchases from Germany and Poland, Transneft’s CEO Nikolay Tokarev told Russian media last month.

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Europe will find it difficult to replace Russian crude oil and product supply once the full effect of the EU embargoes on Russian petroleum products is felt, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Nexus Think on January 03 2023 said:
    Great comment by Francisco, also isnt this "Polish crude" also Russian? Poland imported from Russia and sold Germany gas some time ago, so the German gov. could say they arent doing business with Russia
  • Francisco Napoleao on January 02 2023 said:
    The german government behavior looks like a children playground silly game. They either intend to buy oil from the Druzhba either from Poland or from Kazakhstan. Kazakh oil will always be mixed with Russian Urals, also because the agreement needs to be sanctioned by Russia, pay russian export taxes and Russian transit fees. So Kazakhstan by the actual deals can supply just a small part of the mixt, because Urals has a certain configuration of weight and sweetness (ups souer), the pipeline is the same but it supplies several refineries all the way, even the german refineries need Urals specifications nor Kazakh. So the russians have been discussing the idea of swaps. Germany will get 98% russian oil, the Kazakhis will buy russian oil, and they will sell it to Germany.
    Kindergarten!

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