Poland's PKN says supply secure as Russian oil suspended

Poland’s biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen has no plans at the moment to tap strategic state oil reserves after supplies from Russia stopped overnight, as it has enough crude from other sources, a board member said.

Poland and Germany earlier suspended imports of Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline, citing poor quality, triggering a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest crude exporter.

“This is not our decision (to start using state oil reserves). We are secure. We do not think about using strategic reserves. Our diversification fully secures us,” said Zbigniew Leszczynski.

A spokesman for Poland’s second-biggest refiner Grupa Lotos said it was not using state strategic oil reserves either, but was ready to do so if necessary.

About 50 percent of the oil PKN imports for its Polish refinery comes from Russia, while Lotos relies on Russian deliveries for 73 percent of its needs.

PKN management said during a call with analysts on Thursday that it expected Russian oil supplies to start again in one or two weeks.

The company will receive all oil by sea to the Baltic port of Gdansk until supplies from Russia via pipeline resume, it added in a written statement.

“This is a technical issue related to deterioration of oil quality and we perceive this as such,” Leszczynski said, when asked whether the suspension of Russian oil supplies was a political issue related to relations between Russia and Belarus.

Leszczynski added the company was not aware of any low quality oil supplied to its Czech refinery via the Druzhba pipeline. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Anna Koper; Writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Jan Harvey and Mark Potter)

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