Russia Seeks Emergency Gasoline Supply From Kazakhstan as Ukraine Aims Drones at Oil Refineries: Report

By Jace Dela Cruz

Apr 09, 2024 02:01 AM EDT

Russia is reportedly considering Kazakhstan as a potential source of gasoline in the event of shortages aggravated by Ukrainian drone attacks on oil refineries. 

Russia Is Reportedly Requesting Gasoline From Kazakhstan

Three industry sources told Reuters that Russia had approached Kazakhstan and requested 100,000 tons of gasoline. One of the sources noted that an agreement on using reserves for Russia has already been accorded.

However, Shyngys Ilyasov, an advisor to Kazakhstan's energy minister, said that the country's energy ministry has yet to receive any such request from Russia. The Russian energy ministry also did not comment on the matter.

Drone attacks in Ukraine have disrupted about 14% of Russia's primary oil refining capacity as of the end of March. Despite these challenges, Russian authorities have asserted that the situation in domestic fuel markets remains stable, with sufficient stockpiles available.

The sources told Reuters that Moscow asked Kazakhstan to establish an emergency reserve of 100,000 metric tons of gasoline ready to be delivered to Russia, which is usually an exporter of gasoline.

However, Ukrainian drone attacks have significantly hit its refining capabilities, forcing it to rely on imports to meet demand. In March alone, around 14% of Russia's oil refinery capacity was reportedly shut down due to Ukrainian drone attacks, resulting in about a 12% decline in gasoline production.  

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This photograph taken on August 25, 2022 on the Moscow Ring Road, known by its acronym MKAD, in Moscow, Russia, shows the biggest Russian petrol station by NeftMagistral at night, with 40 fuel stations and an electric vehicle charging station
(Photo : NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia Bans Gasoline Exports

Russia has implemented a six-month ban on gasoline exports from March 1 to avert acute fuel shortages. Although the ban does not include members of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, including Kazakhstan, traders noted that it could be widened if the situation in Russia deteriorates further.

As of April 5, sources told Reuters that Kazakhstan's Ai-92 gasoline reserves were 307,700 tons, and its Ai-95 gasoline stockpiles were 58,000 tons. The biggest landlocked country in the world has also restricted fuel exports until the end of the year, except for humanitarian purposes.

READ MORE: Russia Is Directly Supplying North Korea With Oil Amid Warming Ties, Defying UN Sanctions: Report

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