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A refinery owned by French supermajor TotalEnergies in Germany is expected to continue importing Russian crude oil via pipeline at least through the end of this month, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
The 240,000-barrels-per-day refinery Leuna in eastern Germany is one of two facilities in Germany that still use Russian crude imports via the Druzhba oil pipeline from Russia.
Although there is not yet an official ban on Russian oil sales in Europe, major international traders have already said they would either cut or phase out purchases of Russia’s crude in the coming weeks.
TotalEnergies, for its part, said in March that “given the worsening situation in Ukraine and the existence of alternative sources for supplying Europe, TotalEnergies has unilaterally decided to no longer enter into or renew contracts to purchase Russian oil and petroleum products, in order to halt all its purchases of Russian oil and petroleum products as soon as possible and by the end of 2022 at the latest”.
TotalEnergies has term contracts to buy Russian crude, which end by December 31, 2022. Those contracts primarily cover supplies via the Druzhba pipeline for the Leuna refinery, the company noted.
“In close cooperation with the German government, TotalEnergies will terminate its Russian oil supply contracts for the Leuna refinery as soon as possible and by the end of 2022 at the latest, and will put in place alternative solutions by importing oil via Poland,” the French firm said.
Germany is also preparing to take control of the PCK refinery in Schwedt, operated by Russian state-owned Rosneft. The new plan would see PCK inputs shipped through the German Baltic Sea port of Rostock and the Polish port of Gdansk through an alternative pipeline link.
Germany has now reportedly dropped its opposition to an EU ban on Russian oil imports, if given time to procure alternatives. Last week, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that a full embargo is now “manageable” for Germany and that the country hoped to find a replacement for Russian oil within days.
The EU is currently discussing an embargo on imports of Russian oil, and could offer exemptions to Hungary, which has threatened to veto a ban on imports from Russia.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.