Russia Turns to Kazakhstan for Gasoline Support

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.09 - 2024 7:47 AM CET

In response to potential shortages caused by Ukrainian drone attacks and refinery disruptions, Russia has reportedly requested 100,000 tons of gasoline from Kazakhstan as an emergency measure.

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Russia has approached Kazakhstan with a request to prepare a supply of 100,000 tons of gasoline to serve as an emergency reserve, amidst concerns over potential fuel shortages linked to Ukrainian drone attacks and supply chain disruptions, according to Reuters, citing three industry sources.

One source informed Reuters that an agreement for the supply has already been reached, although Shingys Ilyasov, an adviser to the Kazakh Minister of Energy, stated that the ministry has not received such a request from its Russian counterpart. The sources maintain that Moscow is seeking to establish a standby reserve of gasoline, ready for immediate transfer to Russia if needed.

The Impact of Drone Strikes

The request comes at a time when Russia, traditionally a net exporter of fuel, finds its oil companies compelled to import gasoline due to operational disruptions at its oil refineries.

Approximately 14% of Russia's primary refining capacity was reportedly disabled by drone attacks as of the end of March. While Russian authorities assert that the domestic fuel market remains stable and reserves are adequate, the preemptive measures sought from Kazakhstan suggest concerns over maintaining this stability.

Regional Responses

In addition to seeking support from Kazakhstan, Russia has also reportedly secured assistance in supplying gasoline to Belarus.

To mitigate the risk of acute fuel shortages domestically, Moscow imposed a six-month ban on gasoline exports starting March 1, a regulation that does not apply to members of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Kazakhstan, or to countries like Mongolia with which Russia has fuel supply agreements.

The request for emergency gasoline reserves coincides with significant disruptions within the region, including the halt of production at the Orsk oil refinery in the Urals due to severe flooding that also impacted Kazakhstan. In response to its own fuel supply challenges, Kazakhstan has limited fuel exports until the end of the year, with exceptions made for humanitarian purposes.

As of April 5, Kazakhstan's fuel reserves included 307,700 tons of Ai-92 gasoline, 58,000 tons of Ai-95 gasoline, 435,300 tons of diesel fuel, and 101,000 tons of aviation kerosene.

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