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Russia's Orsk refinery declares force majeure on fuel supply due to floods

(Reuters) - Russia's Orsk oil refinery, which has halted output after widespread floods, declared force majeure on fuel supplies from April 8, according to a document issued by plant owner Forteinvest and seen by Reuters.

Russia's oil refineries were already struggling with Ukrainian drone attacks and technical outages, forcing the country to ban gasoline exports, with some exceptions, for half a year from March 1.

Forteinvest said the plant had been shut to avoid ecological risks and ensure labor safety. Last year the refinery processed 4.5 MMt of oil.

Floods engulfed cities and towns across Russia and Kazakhstan on Wednesday after Europe's third-longest river burst its banks, forcing about 110,000 people to evacuate and swamping parts of the Russian city of Orenburg.

Upstream on the Ural, which flows into Kazakhstan, floodwaters burst through an embankment dam in the city of Orsk on Friday.

Russia's energy ministry played down the force majeure, saying it was not consequential for the market, RIA news agency reported, as most of the Orsk refinery units had already been shut for planned maintenance before the floods.

It said just 0.1% of the planned motor fuel production for April in Russia would be affected.

Forteinvest said in emailed comments separately that the Orsk refinery was still dispatching fuel from its stockpiles "for the needs of the region".

"Forteinvest company does not forfeit its obligations but warns that the timing of product shipments may be delayed," it said.

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