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Russian Oil Refinery Catches Fire Following Ukrainian Drone Attacks

A Lukoil refinery in western Russia is on fire following a drone attack early on Tuesday local time in what appears to be several coordinated attacks by drones from Ukraine on Russian refinery and fuel facilities.   

A crude processing unit at the refinery in Nizhny Novgorod is on fire after a drone attack was carried out on Tuesday morning, Gleb Nikitin, governor of Nizhny Novgorod, wrote on his Telegram channel.

Investigators and fire brigades are working to contain the fire at one of the refinery’s units, Nikitin said, adding that preliminary reports say there have been no injuries.  [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

Another energy facility in western Russia was also attacked by a drone overnight.

A drone attack was launched at a fuel and energy facility in the Oryol region, governor Andrey Klychkov said on Telegram. One of the fuel tanks caught fire as a result of the attack, a representative of the local authorities told Russian news agency TASS.

Local officials in the capital city Moscow, as well as in the regions of Kursk, Tula, Voronezh, and Belgorod also reported drone attacks, without giving more details. 

Ukraine hasn’t commented on the drone attacks.

Ukraine’s security services have been hitting with drones Russian refineries, especially those in southern Russia, in attacks that have intensified since the beginning of the year.

The Ukrainian attacks and the damage they caused to Russian refineries have reduced Russia’s capability to process crude. In mid-February, Russia’s refinery rates had slumped by 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared to December levels as several refineries were under repairs after being hit by Ukrainian drone attacks.

Lower refining capacity in the second quarter, due to refinery maintenance and emergency repairs following the attacks, could be one of the reasons why Russia said it would focus on cuts to oil production instead of exports in its voluntary supply reduction as part of OPEC+ in the second quarter.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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