(Reuters) – TotalEnergies’ 240,000 barrels per day Leuna refinery in Germany is set to continue to import Russian crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline at least throughout May, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.
Germany is trying to wean itself off Russian crude oil, which feeds not only Leuna but also the 233,000 bpd PCK Schwedt refinery, majority-owned by Russia’s Rosneft, with one option being the expropriation of Schwedt.
European Union sanctions have so far avoided targeting oil from Russia, but many traders and refiners have opted to reduce purchases of Russian crude and refined products to avoid breaching sanctions on Russia’s financial system and reputational damage.
The European Commission is preparing further sanctions that are expected to target oil, according to diplomats.
Germany’s Economy Minister said last week the country’s dependence on Russian crude oil imports has shrunk to 12% from from 35%.
Asked to clarify where the remaining 12% went, a spokesman for Germany’s economy ministry said on April 29 it was a rough figure that included Schwedt and Leuna.
TotalEnergies did not respond to a request for comment. It said last month it would end its Russian oil supply contracts for the Leuna refinery as soon as possible and by the end of 2022 at the latest, putting in place alternative solutions by importing oil via Poland.
TotalEnergies imports 300,000-350,000 tonnes of Russian Urals crude oil per month via the Druzhba pipeline to feed Leuna under long-term contracts with Surgutneftegaz and Gazpromneft, one of the sources said.
A pipeline from the port of Rostock can supply part of what Druzhba feeds PCK Schwedt and some volumes could be diverted from Poland, which is also seeking to replace Russian crude in its fuel supply chain.
Habeck has also said Germany was prepared to use its national oil reserves to feed Leuna and PCK Schwedt, whose shareholders include Shell and ENI.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaux, writing by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Barbara Lewis)