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Poland’s Top Refiner To Sue Russia For Halting Oil Supply

PKN Orlen, the biggest refiner in Poland, will seek compensation from Russia after Moscow cut off crude oil deliveries to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline at the end of last month, the refiner’s chief executive Daniel Obajtek said on Monday.  

Crude oil deliveries from Russia to Poland were suspended on February 25, PKN Orlen said at the time.  

Russia claims that incomplete paperwork prevented the supply of Russian oil to Poland, and Polish refineries were cut off, Russian media reported.

According to a spokesperson for Russian pipeline monopoly operator Transneft, crude oil should have been delivered to Polish refineries in the second half of February, but “routing orders with confirmed resource and transit payment were not executed,” as carried by Russian media.

“In addition, operational changes were made to the schedule, excluding supplies for Polish consumers,” Transneft noted.

PKN Orlen has said that it had prepared for a scenario in which Russia would halt crude oil deliveries and that consumers would not be impacted.

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

“Russians stopped pumping oil to Poland...so we will now take legal action and demand claims,” PKN Orlen’s CEO Daniel Obajtek told a Polish radio today, as carried by Reuters.

The executive did not disclose any value of potential compensation, noting that he could not discuss details of the contracts PKN Orlen has with crude suppliers. 

For February and March, Poland will receive close to zero imports of crude oil from Russia, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week.

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Poland decided last year to stop using crude from Russia by the end of 2022 when PKN Orlen’s long-term contract with Russian oil giant Rosneft expired. The Polish refiner has only one remaining contract with a Russian oil producer, a deal with Tatneft set to expire at the end of 2024.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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