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Russian Refinery Returns To Operations After Drone Strike

Russia’s oil refinery that was struck by drones in June has resumed full operations, Interfax said on Friday, citing authorities.

Russia’s Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery, located in the Rostov region, was struck by two drones in June, after which production at both primary crude oil distillation units was suspended. The attack created an explosion that erupted in fire, Russian news agency TASS said at the time, damaging the refinery’s crude oil tank.

Russian police had said the drones were Ukrainian.

Novoshakhtinsk has a capacity of up to 7.5 million tonnes annually, making it one of the largest oil refineries in southern Russia.

Ukraine has not affirmed or denied that it was responsible for the attack.

The drone was one of several attacks on Russian oil and gas operations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Also in June, Ukraine reportedly attacked offshore oil and gas drilling platforms in the Black Sea, Russian-installed head of Crimea said.

Ukraine has accused Russia of strikes that were too near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, using the term “nuclear terrorism”. Russia, however, said that Ukraine had carried out artillery strikes near Zaporizhzhia.

A tight refined products market and shrinking global refining capacity have placed increased scrutiny on any refinery production outages as diesel and other finished product inventories fall.

Russia’s refinery restart, which processed 5.2 million tonnes of crude last year, will give Russia additional outlets for its crude oil as many of its usual customers look to curtail imports of Russia’s crude.  Europe currently has a plan in place to stop 90 percent of Russian crude oil imports by the end of this year in order to limit Russia’s access to oil revenues.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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