Germany's Schwedt refinery no longer needs Russian oil after Polish supply deal - German official

PCK oil refinery in Schwedt
A view shows oil processing facilities of an PCK oil refinery in Schwedt, Germany October 1, 2022. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

BERLIN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Germany's Schwedt refinery will no longer need Russian oil after Poland committed to provide enough supply for it to run at a capacity of 70% from January, an economy ministry official in Berlin said on Thursday.

Berlin aims to eliminate Russian oil imports by the end of the year as per European Union sanctions and has for months been working with Poland to try to secure supply for Schwedt, which provides 90% of Berlin's fuel.

Both sides want to ensure Polish refineries in Gdansk and Plock as well as German refineries in Schwedt and Leuna near Leipzig are adequately supplied with crude oil, ministers from both countries said earlier this month.

"Poland wants to take this step together with us," said Michael Kellner, state secretary in Germany's economy ministry. Germany would look to increase supplies from elsewhere, including from Kazakhstan. "Security of supply can be ensured," he told parliament and added: "So we guarantee that work can continue in Schwedt."

The supply proposal assumes that two to three ships with 100,000 tonnes each a month of non-Russian oil would be unloading for Schwedt in Gdansk in Poland as of next year, a source familiar with the negotiations on the Polish side said.

That would amount to some 3.5 million tonnes per year, the rest would come via Rostock on the Baltic, the person said.

Schwedt then could meet the needs of the Berlin region, supply the nearly 600 German gas stations owned by Poland's Orlen (PKN.WA) and provide some fuels for the western Poland region, the source said.

Germany in September took control of the Schwedt refinery, which was majority owned by Russia's Rosneft (ROSN.MM), as part of efforts to shore up the country's energy supply.

It put Rosneft Deutschland under a trusteeship of the German industry regulator but Rosneft still holds 54.17% of the refinery. Schwedt's co-shareholders are oil major Shell (SHEL.L) with a 37.5% stake, and Italy's Eni (ENI.MI), which holds 8.33%.

Reporting by Christian Kraemer and Marek Strzelecki, writing by Kirsti Knolle, editing by Rachel More, Matthias Williams and Jane Merriman

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