Russian Refinery On Fire After Kamikaze Drone Strike

·2 min read

A fire erupted on Wednesday at an oil refinery in a southern Russian region close to Ukraine after two drones hit the facility, Russia says.

Operations at the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in the southern Russian region of Rostov were suspended after an apparent drone attack, the region’s governor Vasily Golubev said on social media. The fire that erupted has been put out and no injuries were reported.

The refinery has a capacity of 7.5 million tonnes annually.

The management of the refinery put out a statement to Russian media, in which it confirmed that the fire at the facility was the result of a drone attack.

“Two unmanned aerial vehicles attacked the technological facilities of the joint-stock company Novoshakhtinsk Oil Products Plant, as a result of which an explosion and a fire occurred,” the refinery said in a statement carried by Russian news agency TASS.

The crude oil tank at the refinery was damaged by the drone strike.

The fire erupted after a Ukrainian drone crashed in the refinery, a source at the local authorities told TASS. Two Ukrainian drones had flown over the refinery, a police source also told TASS.

Earlier this week, the Russia-installed head of Crimea said Ukrainian forces attacked offshore oil and gas drilling platforms in the Black Sea.

According to a post on Telegram by Sergei Askyonov, who was appointed as head of the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian forces attacked drilling platforms of the company Chernomorneftegaz in the Black Sea. Crimea-based oil and gas exploration company Chernomorneftegaz, which operates in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, was seized by Russia-backed officials in Crimea from Ukraine’s state gas firm Naftogaz after the Russian annexation of Crimea back in 2014. Chernomorneftegaz has been under U.S. and EU sanctions since 2014.

Last week, Ukraine said it had sunk a Russian vessel in the Black Sea headed to deliver weapons and troops to Snake Island, the strategic Ukrainian territory 80 miles south of the port of Odessa. UK military intelligence said the vessel was targeted by anti-ship missiles the West has recently provided to Ukraine.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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