US News: Russian oil deliveries via the Droujba oil pipeline interrupted for some European countries

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L'oléoduc Droujba, principale voie d'importation de pétrole russe en Hongrie, à Szazhalombatta, le 18 mai 2022. © Reuters - Bernadett Szabo The Droujba oil pipeline, main route of Russian oil importation into Hungary, in Szazhalombatta, May 18, 2022. Russian oil deliveries via the Droujba oil pipeline to certain European countries have been interrupted since the beginning of August. It is a branch of this pipeline that goes through Ukraine. The Transneft company explains that its payment for the right of Russian oil in Ukraine was refused by the Ukrainian company Ukrtransnafta at the end of July because of Western sanctions. Ukrtransnaftta is the company that provides the services necessary for crude transit. However, the payment of these rights would have been rejected because it would have been made by the GazPrombank bank, which is under Western sanctions. For the moment, there is no reaction on the Ukrainian side about this interruption of deliveries which immediately caused an increase in barrel prices on the markets.

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The Ukrainian branch of the Droujba oil pipeline supplies three countries without access to the sea with oil: Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Russia normally provides around 250,000 barrels per day to these countries. The other northern branch of the pipeline which goes through Belarus and which supplies Poland, Austria and Germany operates normally.

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despite European sanctions against Moscow, oil and Russian gas continue to pass through via Ukraine. At the end of May, the 27 members of the European Union agreed for a gradual judgment by the end of the year of Russian oil imports transported by boat. A temporary exemption has been planned for oil sent by the Droujba oil pipeline, in order to lift the veto of Hungary, which draws most of its supplies.

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The solution in the hands of the Hungarian oil company Mol? In Hungary, the key to the problem may be in the hands of Mol, the Hungarian oil company, explains our correspondent in Budapest, Florence La Bruyère

. Even if Hungary is deprived of Russian oil, on which it depends at 65%, motorists still manage to refuel. But the closure of the black gold tap falls badly. Because at the moment, the main Hungarian refinery, located in Szazalombatta, 30 kilometers from Budapest, is in partial maintenance and provides less petrol than usual.

However, the Hungarian company MOL, the main buyer of Russian oil, says it has stocks for several weeks. And the company strives to find a solution so that oil deliveries resume. In a press release, she said she started "negotiations to take charge of the royalty". In other words, the Hungarian company proposes to play the intermediaries and settle transit rights to the Ukrainian operator, then leaves, to arrange with the Russian part. It must be said that Mol is buying oil from Russia for decades and has had excellent relations with its partners.

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