Poland's PKN Orlen signs deal with Exxon Mobil on oil supplies

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen has signed a contract with U.S. Exxon Mobile under which it will import around 1 million tonnes of crude oil within a year, it said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Polish refineries have been importing most of their crude from Russia via pipelines, but have taken steps to reduce their reliance.

“We continue to diversify supplies,” PKN Orlen Chief Executive Daniel Obajtek said in a statement.

PKN said the supplies will be used in its refineries in Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania.

The move follows a price row between PKN Orlen and its major Russian Urals oil supplier Rosneft that led to a delay in the signing of a new deal between the companies and the suspension of supplies since February.

Last month Reuters sources said the companies had agreed on price terms and oil supply volumes, but the deal was not signed.

As of March 9 Rosneft has not requested to send any oil supplies to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline in March, according to two sources familiar with the company’s plans.

Talks with Rosneft on supplies continue, a PKN Orlen representative said. Rosneft did not immediately reply to a request from Reuters for comment.

The only Russian oil company that continues to supply PKN Orlen and Grupa Lotos via Druzhba is Tatneft that ships 200,000 tonnes of oil to each refiner a month.

Due to the lack of oil supplies via Druzhba, Poland’s refiners have had to rely on seaborne imports via the port of Gdansk. In January and February Poland imported 1.4 million tonnes and 1.1 million tonnes of oil via the port respectively, according to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko in WARSAW and Olga Yagova in MOSCOW, editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans