Ukrainian drones hit Russian oil refinery in Tuapse, halting operations — Reuters

Smoke and flames over Tuapse oil refinery, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, May 17, 2024
Smoke and flames over Tuapse oil refinery, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, May 17, 2024

A Ukrainian drone attack sparked a fire at Russia's Tuapse oil refinery in Krasnodar Krai, leading to an emergency shutdown, two sources familiar with the matter said, Reuters reported on May 17.

Two drones attacked Rosneft's oil refinery in Tuapse on May 17, igniting a fire that was extinguished, according to the Russian state-run propaganda TASS news agency.

Rosneft, the Russian oil and gas company that owns the refinery, did not comment on the attack.

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The drones hit the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) production unit at Tuapse, while the crude distillation unit (CDU) remained undamaged, one source said.

"There was no black smoke during the fire," the source added. "That means it was just the gas (LPG) burning."

Read also: Drones strike Russian oil bases in Novorossiysk

From a technical standpoint, there is an option to bypass the LPG unit and restart the refinery relatively soon, the source said.

This is not the first time the refinery has been targeted. Last January, drones from Ukraine's SBU Security Service damaged the vacuum and atmospheric columns of the primary oil processing unit.

Reuters reported on May 7 that repairs were completed in April and the refinery had resumed operations after the January attack.

The Tuapse refinery has an annual capacity of 12 million metric tons (240,000 barrels per day). Fuel from this refinery is supplied to Turkey, China, Malaysia, and Singapore.

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