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One more Russian oil refinery exploded last night

Locals heard explosions and saw how the fire broke out at the Novokuibyshevsk oil refinery in Russia’s Samara Oblast after a suspected drone strike
Novokuibyshevsk oil refinery in Russia's Samara Oblast
Heavy fire started at the oil refinery in Novokuibyshevsk in Russia’s Samara Oblast after locals heared explosions on 23 March 2024. Source: Telegram channel Gorod Novokuibyshevsk
One more Russian oil refinery exploded last night

In the early hours of Saturday, 23 March 2024, a fire erupted at the Novokuibyshevsk oil refinery in Russia’s Samara Oblast following reported explosions at the facility.

According to Russian Telegram channels, such as Mash and Astra, local residents reported hearing an explosion at the Novokuibyshevsk refinery, which led to a subsequent fire. Preliminary information suggests that the refinery was targeted by a drone attack, like nearly 15 other oil refineries and oil depots earlier this year. In recent months, several oil refineries and depots across Russia have been targeted, including facilities in Krasnodar Krai, Kaluga Oblast, Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Oryol, Kursk, Volgograd, and Saint Petersburg.

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The attack comes after the FT publication suggested that the US has allegedly urged Ukraine to halt attacks on Russia’s energy infrastructure, expressing concerns about the potential impact on global oil prices and the possibility of Russian retaliation. The Financial Times reported that senior officials at Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) and Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR) were warned that the drone strikes could lead to higher oil prices and provoke retaliatory measures from Russia.

Ukrainian officials denied this information, saying that oil refineries on Russian territory are legitimate military targets and disrupting enemy fuel infrastructure is “according to the best NATO standards.” Ukraine will continue its campaign until Russian armed forces withdraw from Ukrainian territories, said Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna.

The governor of the Samara region, Dmitry Azarov, reported “another attempt” to attack the Novokuybyshevsk refinery, saying that “no damage was done to the technological equipment” and at the same time that “the primary oil refining column caught fire as a result.”

On 18 March 2024, Reuters published its analysis suggesting that Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia’s oil industry have idled about 7% of its refining capacity in the first quarter.

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