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Kazakhstan’s Oil Flows to Germany Threatened as Russia Demands Transit Fees

Russian pipeline operator Transneft has warned Kazakhstan’s oil companies that ship crude to Germany via Transneft’s Druzhba pipeline that the customers of the Kazakh firms have until June to pay for metering services or risk a halt to supplies, trading sources told Reuters on Thursday.

In early 2023, as Russian crude flows via the Druzhba pipeline dropped off, crude oil from Kazakhstan started flowing via the Russian pipeline network to Poland for further delivery to Germany.

In December 2022, Kazakhstan’s oil pipeline operator KazTransOil applied to transport a total of 1.2 million tons of Kazakh crude oil through Transneft’s system of trunk oil pipelines in the direction of the Adamova Zastava point for further delivery to Germany.

Meanwhile, crude oil deliveries from Russia to Poland were suspended.

The northern leg of the Druzhba oil pipeline system which connects Germany and Poland via Belarus, is now used for Kazakhstan’s oil exports for the Schwedt refinery. Schwedt is the fourth-largest refinery in Germany and it gets its oil from the Druzhba oil pipeline. The refinery supplies 90% of the fuel needs of Germany’s capital city Berlin. 

Now the Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft has recently told Kazakh suppliers that Polish state pipeline operator PERN has until June to pay for metering services at its Adamowo base on the Polish-Belarussian border, according to Reuters’ trading sources. The current service contract is due to expire on June 5, one of these sources said.

The use of the Druzhba pipeline and the Russian Black Sea ports for oil exports highlights the dependence of Kazakhstan’s oil supply on Russia.

Most of Kazakhstan’s crude oil exports are currently being handled by the network of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). The CPC pipeline runs from the Caspian coast in northwest Kazakhstan to the Novorossiysk port on Russia’s Black Sea coast and carries 80% of Kazakh crude exports.  

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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