Recently, attacks on Russian oil depots have become commonplace: on January 25, at an oil refinery in Tuapse, the only one on the Black Sea coast of the Russian Federation, after two powerful explosions, a large-scale fire started, equipment for the primary processing of oil products, namely the vacuum and atmospheric columns, was damaged. The annual capacity of the Rosneft enterprise in Tuapse is 12 million tons; after a large fire, production stopped.
The attack on this facility in the Krasnodar region was the sixth in a month. Thus, on January 18, the Russian side announced a so-called “attempt to attack” an oil depot in St. Petersburg. On January 19, a powerful fire broke out at an oil depot in Klintsy town, Bryansk region, and the Russians announced an alleged drone attack. In addition, on January 21, an attack by Ukrainian drones suspended the operation of the Russian Novatek plant, located on the Baltic Sea coast. And on January 29, an aircraft-type drone attacked the Slavneft-YANOS oil refinery in Yaroslavl, Russia. In addition, on January 31, in St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation complained that a Ukrainian drone attacked the Nevsky Mazut plant: the city governor confirmed the “incident” that “required the attention of law enforcement agencies.”
The last message was received on February 3, 2024, “Drones of the Security Service of Ukraine attacked an oil refinery in Volgograd. The attack on one of the largest oil refineries in the Russian Volgograd city on February 3 was the result of a successful attack by drones of the Security Service of Ukraine.” According to RegioNews, RBC-Ukraine informs about this with reference to its own sources. Two drones hit a primary oil refining unit, without which the plant would lose a significant part of its production capacity.
According to Bloomberg, sea oil deliveries from Russia have fallen to a minimum: over the past month, just over 3 million barrels of crude oil per day were shipped from Russian ports, which is 50,000 barrels less than usual.
For several weeks now, 14 tankers with 10 million barrels of Sakhalin oil, that had to deliver oil to India, have been standing near the coast of South Korea. New Delhi admitted that it had reduced the volume of imports of Russian raw materials due to Western sanctions. In addition, the government of India does not want to give permission for the conversion of the rupee. And the Russian Federation, in its turn, refuses to accept the Indian national currency. India in 2023 was the second largest buyer of Russian oil after China. According to analysts, this sales market is partially lost for Russia.
And if terminals in the Baltic are attacked, Russia could lose up to 40% of its oil exports. Today Russia does not have alternative ways to export such amounts of oil. And stopping exports from the Baltic ports will be a shock for the Russian oil market.
If we talk about sanctions, we see a clear minus of $20 billion in oil and gas revenues. Moreover, these 20 billion are the real damage to the Russian Federation from all the sanctions against the oil and gas complex. And, despite all the insufficient effectiveness of sanctions, despite the fact that most Ukrainian drones that fly into Russian territory are shot down, we see very real results.
Let’s not forget about the factor of equipment availability in oil pipelines. There, transport automation of their own production, as far as I know, is also very limited. And if the sanctions are effective, Russia will not be able to deliver, transship and sell gas for export.
And what is happening in Russia at this very moment? And in Russia at this moment, sanctions led to the fact that throughout the eastern part of the Russian Federation – where there was export to Europe – the largest oil pipelines and oil refineries suddenly began to break down suddenly and unexpectedly.
Oil and gas technologies were already included in the first package of sanctions. Now, thanks to the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian drones, and thanks to the sanctions that were introduced two years ago, four oil refineries in Russia have now stopped. In this regard, officials do not know what to do with gasoline in Russia in the spring.