Ukrainian Drone Strikes Russia’s Third Biggest Oil Refinery

Tue Apr 02 2024
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MOSCOW: A Ukrainian drone struck Russia’s third biggest oil refinery on Tuesday about 1,300 km (800 miles) from the front lines, hitting a unit that processes around 155,000 barrels of crude per day through an industry source stating the damage was not significant.

While initial reports indicated the strike, aimed at reducing Russia’s oil revenue, caused a fire, subsequent assessments revealed the damage was not significant.

Russian officials stated that their jamming devices intercepted the Ukrainian drone near Tatneft’s Taneco refinery, an industrial complex with an annual production capacity exceeding 17 million tons (340,000 barrels per day). The targeted unit, CDU-7, which processes around half of the plant’s total annual production capacity, sustained minor damage, as confirmed by an industry source speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Despite the fire that broke out following the strike, it was immediately extinguished within 20 minutes, according to the state news agency RIA. Furthermore, refinery output remained unaffected by the incident.

Ramil Mullin, the mayor of Nizhnekamsk in the Tatarstan region where the refinery is situated, assured that there was no significant damage inflicted by the attack. The refinery, accounting for approximately 6.2% of Russia’s refining capacity, continues its operations following the incident.

Ukrainian military intelligence sources in Kyiv reported that the strike targeted the primary refining unit at Taneco, aiming to disrupt Russia’s oil revenue. Additionally, another Ukrainian intelligence source claimed that Ukrainian-made drones also hit a Russian facility producing long-range “Shahed” attack drones, causing significant damage.

The attack on Taneco is part of a series of strikes in Tatarstan, a highly industrialized region, during the early hours of Tuesday. These attacks follow a pattern of Ukrainian assaults on Russian refineries in recent months, impacting Moscow’s refined oil trade. Reuters calculations suggest that approximately 14% of Russia’s refining capacity has been temporarily shut down due to drone attacks, posing challenges for Moscow’s lucrative trade in refined products amidst Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy grid.

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