Fire Extinguished at Russia’s Lukoil Plant After Drone Downed

Fire Extinguished at Russia’s Lukoil Plant After Drone Downed

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(Bloomberg) — A fire at Lukoil PJSC’s refinery in Volgograd blamed on a downed drone was extinguished early Saturday following the latest attack by Ukraine on a Russian energy facility. 

“Last night, air defense and electronic warfare systems repelled a UAV attack on the territory of the Volgograd region,” Andrey Bocharov, the region’s governor, said in a statement on Telegram. “As a result of the consequences of the downed UAV, a fire broke out at the Volgograd refinery.”

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The oil-product spill blaze was completely extinguished at 7:55 a.m. local time, according to the regional emergencies ministry. There were no casualties, it said in a website statement. 

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A Ukrainian drone targeted the facility in an attempt to slash its production capacity, according to an official with knowledge in Kyiv, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. 

Several Russian oil-processing and storage facilities have been targeted or damaged in what appeared to be Ukrainian drone attacks in recent weeks. As the the war between the two countries is soon to enter a third year, Ukraine is focusing on targets that provide revenue to the Russian state and supply fuel to the Russian army. 

Read more: Russian Oil Refining Holds Up Despite Drone Attack on Plant 

Lukoil’s Volograd refinery, hundreds of miles east of the Ukrainian border, supplies fuel both to domestic and foreign markets. Part of the production cycle at the facility will be halted to repair damage caused by the drone attack, Kommersant newspaper reported, citing people at the plant it didn’t identify. 

The refinery, one of the nation’s largest, processed almost 289,000 barrels a day of crude oil in the first 24 days of January, or more than 5% of Russia’s total crude-processing volume, according to a person familiar with industry data. 

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Russian air defense systems intercepted and destroyed seven drones across the Belgorod, Volgograd and Rostov regions overnight, the nation’s defense ministry said on Telegram. 

At the same time, residents of Ukraine’s Kryvyi Rih, home town of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, were cut off from electricity supplies overnight after the latest Russian drone strike, the power grid operator Ukrenergo said on Telegram. It was the third consecutive Russian attack on energy infrastructure in Dnipropetrovsk region, the company said. 

(Updates with Ukraine’s claim of responsibility, partial halt of production from fourth paragraph.)

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