On 4 August, Russia’s Transnist shut down oil supplies on the Friendship II pipeline to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to Russian and British news agencies. This means that the more economic Ural-type oil is no longer delivered to Hungary. This was confirmed by Mol as well. It is not yet known how long this challenging situation will last.
According to the Russian news agency Ria Novosti, the Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft confirmed that it stopped oil deliveries on the southern branch of the Friendship oil pipeline. This affects three countries – Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. On the northern branch, deliveries will resume to Belarus, Poland and Germany writes 444.hu.
The reason is “an issue around the settlement of transit fees”. The Ukrainian company explains that the seller did not receive the necessary amount.
The root of the matter may be that Russia’s Gazprombank has failed to pay the transit fee, pointing the finger at Western sanctions. This is why transit on the Ukrainian pipeline section was stopped.
From a Hungarian perspective, it is the fifth day that cheap Russian Urals crude has stopped coming to Hungary. In the meantime, Mol’s Százhalombatta refinery was partially shut down as well at the end of July.
The timing is rather unfortunate, as there are already supply issues across the country due to the officially restricted petrol. As a result, strategic stocks have to be used. On the Friendship II pipeline, the Russians have so far delivered an average of about 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the aforementioned three countries.
Mol has also confirmed that oil supplies stopped a few days ago.
“The oil supply on the Friendship pipeline has been interrupted a few days ago. As far as we know, there were technical problems on the banking side with the payment of the transit fee to the Russian side. Although MOL has enough reserves for several weeks, it is working on a solution and has also initiated negotiations on the assumption of the fee obligation,” they wrote to portfolio.hu.
Source: 444.hu, portfolio.hu