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Russia’s pipeline operator Transneft has received orders for crude oil purchases from Germany and Poland, Russia’s RIA Novosti reported today, citing the chief executive of Transneft, Nikolay Tokarev.
The oil will be shipped via the Druzhba pipeline which is not covered by the European Union’s embargo on Russian crude oil imports, which only focuses on seaborne deliveries.
The embargo, which went into effect on December 5, seeks to reduce Russia’s income from oil exports, which the EU says the country is using to fund the war in Ukraine. Two months later, on February 5, the EU will put into effect an embargo on Russian oil product exports.
The news about orders for Transneft comes after in November Poland called for sanctions on the Druzhba pipeline in a bid to squeeze Russian oil exports to Europe further and quit a deal it already had for Russian oil deliveries through the pipeline without having to pay penalties on the contract.
Germany, for its part, had pledged to stop buying Russian oil completely from next year. To do that, it secured a deal with Poland for the supply of non-Russian crude for the German Schwedt refinery, formerly owned by Rosneft but taken over by the German government earlier this year.
Per the deal, Poland pledged to ensure the delivery of two to three oil cargos of 100,000 tons each monthly, beginning in January, according to an unnamed source close to the negotiations, cited by Reuters.
Meanwhile, top Polish refiner Orlen said in November it had applied to Transneft for the delivery of 3 million tons of crude oil via Druzhba over the course of 2023.
The Druzhba pipeline also carries crude to landlocked Hungary, Slovakia, and Czechia, which were all against sanctioning the infrastructure due to the challenging nature of trying to diversify their oil supply.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.