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Russia Is Preparing for a Potential Gasoline Shortage

Russia is seeking to import gasoline from Kazakhstan in case shortages occur on the Russian market because of the diminished refining capacity due to maintenance and damages from Ukrainian drone attacks, Reuters reported on Monday, citing industry sources.

Russia has asked Kazakhstan to prepare to potentially deliver 100,000 tons of gasoline, the sources told Reuters.

Russia is also ready to import gasoline from Belarus if the current domestic supply is insufficient to meet demand.

Russia is estimated to have slashed in half its gasoline exports via railway after imposing a six-month ban on exports from March 1 to ensure sufficient domestic supply in peak demand season, while several refineries are undergoing regular maintenance and urgent repairs after Ukrainian drone strikes.

Russia suspended gasoline exports from March 1 until August 31, 2024, to ensure supply for the domestic market in peak demand season, in a second such export ban in just a few months. In the autumn of 2023, Russia banned exports of diesel and gasoline in an effort to stabilize domestic fuel prices in the face of soaring prices and shortages as crude oil rallied and the Russian ruble weakened.

Russia has seen its refining capacity diminished in recent weeks, due to seasonal maintenance, but most of all due to drone attacks from Ukraine, which have damaged several refineries that have shut down for repairs.

According to Reuters estimates, the amount of Russian oil refining capacity that has been taken offline due to Ukrainian drone strikes is 14% of Russia’s total refining capacity. Calculations show that 900,000 barrels per day of refining capacity have been taken offline by drone strikes, Reuters reported last month.

Most recently, strong spring floods have shut down one refinery in Russia as they compromised a dam in the area forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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