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Ukrainian Drones Target Russian Ship At Major Oil Export Terminal

Ukrainian security services and navy hit with drones a Russian Navy ship outside the Russian oil export port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea. 

The Russian Navy landing ship, Olenegorsky Gornyak, was damaged in the attack, Ukraine says, while Russia said it had repelled the attack. 

Videos of the purported attack started circulating in social media. Sources have told Ukrainian media outlet “Ukrainska Pravda” that Ukraine’s security service, SBU, and the Ukrainian Navy carried out the operation with a drone packed with 450 kg (992 pounds) of TNT, FT’s correspondent in Kyiv, Christopher Miller, reported.     

Novorossiysk, a navy and oil export port in Russia on the Black Sea, east of Crimea, is exporting around 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and is the key export outlet for most of Kazakhstan’s crude oil, too. 

Operations at the oil terminal were suspended briefly in the morning local time. 

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) whose pipeline for Kazakhstan’s oil ends at the port and which operates a terminal at Novorossiysk, said that there was a temporary ban on ships movement in the CPC water district and the port of Novorossiysk, but the ban has been already removed. Tanker loadings continued, and the infrastructure operated by the consortium has not been damaged, CPC added. 

The attack outside the port of Novorossiysk was the first such attack against Russian oil export infrastructure since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022. 

The attack comes after Russia has targeted with strikes the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa, causing damage and fires at facilities crucial for Ukraine’s grain exports. 

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“Anything that risks curtailing Russian oil supply to the market is not going to be welcomed by the White House,” Helima Croft, a former CIA analyst and currently head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told FT. 

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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  • George Kafantaris on August 04 2023 said:
    Ukraine is proving that future battles at sea and at land will be fought with drones. Yet, we have a limited drone program. And what we do have, Iran has already copied.

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