ua en ru

ISW assessed impact of drone attacks and floods on oil refining in Russia

ISW assessed impact of drone attacks and floods on oil refining in Russia Attacks by Ukrainian drones and floods have reduced oil refining in Russia (photo: Russian media)

Ukrainian drone attacks and recent floods in Russia have reduced the weekly processing of Russian oil to an 11-month low. Although such a decline in processing volumes is not yet critical for the Russian economy, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

In a report, reference was made to Bloomberg's data, according to which, as of mid-April, Russia was processing 5.22 million barrels of crude oil per day, which is 10,000 barrels less than the average at the beginning of April.

According to the agency, since January, Russia has been processing 1.23 million barrels of crude oil per day at refineries that were previously targeted by Ukrainian drone strikes. This is 280,000 barrels per day less than before the strikes by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the plants at the end of January 2024. According to Bloomberg, as of April 2, Ukrainian drone attacks had disabled 14% of all oil refining capacity in Russia.

It is also noted that the flood in the Orenburg region on April 7 led to the shutdown of the Orsk oil refinery. Although Reuters reported that on April 23, this refinery resumed full operations.

"Decreased Russian refining capacity likely forced Russia to import gasoline from Kazakhstan and Belarus in early April to address shortages and attempt to prevent domestic gasoline prices from rising, although there are no indications that constraints on Russian gasoline production are significant to international market values," the ISW report said.

Russian officials note that the reduction in primary oil processing in 2024 will lead to an increase in Russian crude oil exports since Russia will not be able to process as much as it usually does.

"Future Ukrainian drone strikes may disable and disrupt more of Russia’s refining capacity and inflict critical constraints on Russian refining that begin to substantially impact Russia’s production of distillate products. Ukrainian drone strikes have yet to significantly impact Russian refining production or the domestic Russian or international supply of crude oil and distillate products, however," the ISW report said.

Attacks on Russian oil refineries

Recently, reports from local authorities about drone attacks have been increasingly heard in various regions of Russia.

In particular, over the past month, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have used drones to attack 12 Russian oil refineries. Since March 1, Russia has officially completely stopped gasoline exports due to a fuel shortage.

During the night of April 20, during a large-scale air attack, debris from a downed drone hit the oil depot of the Lukoil company in the Smolensk region. A massive fire broke out at the crash site.

The Office of the President stated that Ukraine will continue to destroy Russian oil refineries.

It should be noted that in early April, due to flooding on the Ural River, a dam was breached in Russia. As a result, the city of Orsk in the Orenburg region was flooded, with casualties reported. The flood is spreading to other regions of the Russian Federation.