Following Russia’s Ukraine invasion, PKN Orlen ordered 28 tankers with oil to make the Polish system independent from Russian oil, Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board, told a press conference on Wednesday, March 30, as quoted by the Polish Press Agency.
– We geared up our refineries so that we could select a mix of oil grades that would be most optimal for use in our installations, and we were able to do that. Then, after the war outbreak, we ordered about 28 tankers to secure our system fully – Obajtek said.
– We are ready for any scenario and are implementing it very strongly and consistently. We have been carrying out a very intensive diversification process for a couple of years now” – the PKN Orlen CEO added.
As he points out, PKN Orlen has established strong partnerships with an extensive base of suppliers from Europe and beyond over the past four years. Over this period, the company has imported and tested around one hundred non-Russian crude grades in refineries belonging to the ORLEN Group.
– Therefore, when imports from the eastern source are suspended, we will maintain stable oil supplies for Poland and the entire Central and Eastern Europe. However, phasing out Russian oil should be coordinated at the EU level to maintain market balance – Daniel Obajtek emphasized.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the ORLEN Group has made agreements to increase the volumes of oil imported from non-Russian sources. The measures are taken fully ensure continuity of production at the ORLEN Group’s refineries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania, which are well prepared to process various crude types as the Group managed to diversify supplies over the past four years.
As recently as 2013, a whopping 98 per cent of the crude feedstock processed in the Płock refinery was REBCO oil, which is sourced from Russia. Currently, the grade accounts for only about 50 per cent of the plant’s crude slate, the balance coming from Saudi Arabia, the US and West Africa, and Norway.
Obajtek recalled that when it comes to Orlen’s Lithuanian refinery in Mažeikiai, which used to be supplied with crude oil from the east, the oil it processes now also comes from other geographical directions. In the case of the Lithuanian refinery, transport of the product is possible both by rail and by sea. However, it is important to note that the ORLEN Group’s Czech and Lithuanian refineries will first meet demand in their respective regions, as is the case today.
According to the Polish company, all logistics processes supporting fuel deliveries at the ORLEN Group are also secured. As a result, the ORLEN terminals and storage depots operate without disruption.
Daniel Obajtek also said that PKN Orlen is still working on a merger with Lotos Group and PGNiG (the Polish Oil and Gas Company).
– We are implementing a very ambitious plan. This year there will surely be a merger, another merger connected with the acquisition of Lotos or even connected with the acquisition of PGNiG. (…) We are practically at the final stage and will carry it out this year, as it is necessary for our entire economy and our country’s security – Obajtek argues.