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Can attacks on Russian refineries affect oil prices: Expert insights

Can attacks on Russian refineries affect oil prices: Expert insights Photo: Drone strikes on Russian refineries will not affect oil prices (Russian media)

The data from the Financial Times on the impact of Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian refineries on global oil prices does not correspond to reality, Director of the Energy Industry Research Center, Oleksandr Kharchenko, told RBC-Ukraine.

"The connection between attacks on Russian refineries and the price of oil as stated in the Financial Times raises significant doubts because our attacks on refineries do not lead to a reduction in crude oil exports," he says.

According to him, they lead to the opposite effect. "Russia will simply push crude oil out because of the inability to export oil products," the expert added.

Financial Times reported that the United States urged Ukraine to stop attacks on Russian energy infrastructure, warning that drone strikes could lead to an increase in global oil prices and gasoline in the United States, harming President Joe Biden's reelection.

False assumption

Serhii Kuiun, Director of the Consulting Group A-95, says on his Facebook that there are significant doubts about the idea that strikes on Russian refineries could destabilize the global oil and petroleum products market.

According to him, assuming that Russian exports of petroleum products will decline, more Russian crude oil will enter the market, thus dragging down the price of raw products.

Furthermore, Russians export little gasoline, so there won't be much impact on the market for this product, which is a major concern for the United States.

According to him, theoretically, there could be a rise in diesel prices, which is Russia's main export position. "But in practice, a rise is quickly followed by a fall because the market gets filled from alternative sources. Look at the European natural gas market, after the shock of 2022, today gas prices have fallen to a minimum, the season has passed almost unnoticed," Kuiun added.

Refinery strikes

Since January, Ukraine has intensified attacks on Russian oil infrastructure, targeting major refineries to disrupt Russia's military supply.

For more information on whether strikes on refineries could bleed Russia and help Ukraine on the front line, read RBC-Ukraine's article.