Apr 17, 2024
3 mins read
3 mins read

Russia Restoring Oil Refining Capacity After Ukrainian Suicide Drone Strikes

Russia Restoring Oil Refining Capacity After Ukrainian Suicide Drone Strikes

With Western sanctions widely failing against Russia, as well as Ukraine’s depleted air force unable to patrol its skies, Western leaders have said General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets would be game-changing in the war (these are the same leaders that said the M1 Abrams tanks would be game-changing). But with M1 Abrams busted and F-16s unlikely to hit the highly contested airspace of the Eastern European country anytime soon, desperate Kyiv made a bold effort in recent months to target Moscow’s crude refineries (how the war is funded) with wave after wave of stealthy suicide drones. 

For months, Ukraine and the Western leaders (and the CIA) cheered (either publicly in NATO-friendly corporate press or behind the scenes) about bombing Russia’s refineries deep within the country with suicide drones, sending crude refining capacity-idled in the country to nearly 14%.

However, the short-lived celebrations are winding down. Reuters estimates that capacity idled at refineries in Russia fell from 14% to 10% at the end of March, primarily because the refineries are being repaired quickly. 

Reuters noted several damaged Russian refinery plants that were hit by Ukrainian drone attacks have been fixed in recent weeks. Also, other refineries with planned maintenance have come back online. 

That includes the Rosneft-owned Ryazan plant, which put back the CDU-4 and main CDU-6 primary oil refining units into operation, as well as Kuibyshev refinery repairing CDU-4 and Syzran’s CDU-5 and previously idled for maintenance CDU-6.-Reuters

According to Reuters estimates, Russian oil refining capacity idled by drones plunged to 90,500 metric tons per day (660,000 barrels per day) from around 123,800 tons per day (907,000 bpd) previously. 

The last major Ukrainian drone attack on a large Russian refinery facility occurred on April 2 at the Taneco refinery in Nizhnekamsk, Russia, the third-largest refinery in the country. 

Reuters pointed out that Russia’s total primary oil refining capacity was shut down due to outages, and maintenance was around 4.4 million tons in April, up from 4.1 million tons in March. 

Since April 2, there have been no new reports of successful drone attacks on large Russian refineries. 

We wonder why? Well, it’s pretty easy to figure this one out. 

Last week, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Ukraine that drone and missile attacks should not be focused on energy infrastructure but instead on military targets because of the risk of sending Brent crude prices over $100 per barrel. 

And recall this note from last month, “”Terrified” Joe Biden Demands Ukraine Halt Strikes On Russian Refiners As It Is Sending Oil Prices Surging.”

Ukraine only attacking Russian refineries with drones instead of sinking Russian tankers as that would send oil soaring and would cripple Biden re-election odds.

Once Trump wins, Ukraine will go scorched earth on Russian oil infra/tankers.

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 17, 2024

The main goal of the refinery drone attacks by Ukraine is to crush Moscow’s funding of the war through crude product (such as diesel) exports. The quick repair work and resilience of the Russian economy from repeated Ukranian attacks and Western sanctions shows how elites in Washington and Brussels are failing in a world dangerously spiraling into a multi-polar state. 

If Biden’s foreign policy is basically to keep Brent prices sub $100/bbl before the presidential elections in November. Well, they’re going to have a whole lot of trouble if Israel uses Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth jets to bomb critical oil/gas infrastructure in Iran. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 04/17/2024 – 18:40