Russia’s Kuibyshev oil refinery halts production after drone attacks, a big blow to Putin

Two industry sources told Global Defense Corp that the Kuibyshev oil refinery in Russia’s Samara halted CDU-5, one of two primary refining units, knocking out half of its capacity following a drone attack over the weekend.

Regional Governor Dmitry Azarov has said that a fire broke out at the refinery after a Ukrainian drone attacked it on Saturday morning, according to Interfax news agency. The blaze engulfed the primary oil refining unit, he said.

Ukraine has stepped up attacks on Russian oil infrastructure since the start of the year, hitting numerous large refineries in an attempt to cripple Russia’s military and curb its army’s advances.

Russian oil refining capacity shut down in the first quarter due to Ukrainian drone attacks on at least seven refineries amounts to about 4.6 million tons (370,500 barrels per day), or some 7% of the total, Reuters reported, in addition to maintenance-related to other causes.

The United States has urged Ukraine to halt drone strikes on Russian energy infrastructure, warning they risk provoking retaliation and driving up global oil prices, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Russia’s oil refining production forecast for 2024 remains unchanged and close to last year’s level of around 5.5 million barrels per day, Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said on Wednesday.

Azarov said a simultaneous drone attack on the Novokuibyshevsky refinery in the region was unsuccessful and its facilities suffered no damage.

CDU-5 has production power of 9,500 metric tons per day (70,000 barrels per day), around half its capacity.

Another primary oil refining unit, CDU-4, has production capacity of 10,500 tons per day. It was not immediately clear if the unit was working normally.

Last year, the Kuibyshev plant was Russia’s 29th biggest oil refinery by output, accounting for 1.34% of total oil refining throughput, having processed 3.687 million tons of crude oil.

It produced 624,000 tons of gasoline (1.42% of Russia’s total), 1.187 million tons of diesel (1.35%), and 1.040 million tons of fuel oil (2.56%).

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