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Fire Continues to Burn After Drone Attack on Russian Oil Depot

A fire ignited by a drone attack on an oil depot in the southern Russian region of Rostov has gone into its second day with local emergency services still trying to put it out.

According to a Reuters report, the drone attack had been carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine.

Ukrainian attacks on Russian refineries and other energy infrastructure have become a fixture this year, with drones the weapon of choice for conducting the strikes.

The series of strikes has affected Russia’s refining capacity and earlier this year led the U.S. to call on the Ukrainians to stop targeting refineries in order to avoid a fuel price spike ahead of the November elections.

This week’s attack on the oil depot is the second since the start of the month in the region of Rostov. In early June, Ukrainian forces struck an oil refinery in Novosakhatinsk, causing another fire and prompting the suspension of work at the facility.

They also attacked an oil depot in the Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces, using a kamikaze drone, attacked an oil depot on the territory of the Stary Oskol urban district. As a result of the explosion, one of the tanks caught fire. Four fire crews quickly extinguished the fire. The blast wave blew out the windows in the security building. There were no casualties,” the governor of Belgorod said at the time.

The amount of refining capacity affected by Ukrainian drone attacks since the start of the year was estimated at around 600,000 barrels daily in April by Gunvor, the commodity trading major. According to JP Morgan, the amount was much higher, at 900,000 barrels daily. Repairs are ongoing at many sites but it seems the Ukrainians are not heeding the Biden administration’s advice to stop targeting oil infrastructure.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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