Financial problems and sanctions are behind the shutdown.Continue reading
Hungarian multinational oil and gas company, Mol, has held talks with the Ukrainian and Russian sides concerning the restart of the Friendship pipeline (Druzhba pipeline) and has transferred the transit fee for the use of the Ukrainian section, the company announced on Wednesday.
“By taking over the fee obligation, Mol has provided a quick solution to the problem: according to the Ukrainians’ promise, the oil transport, which was stopped a few days ago due to technical obstacles on the banking side, can be resumed within a few days,” the statement read.
According to the information, the rapid action was justified by the supply situation: oil is transported to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic via the southern section of the Friendship pipeline, and although Mol has enough oil reserves in Hungary to last for several weeks, as a large regional company it is also responsible for the security of supply in neighboring countries.
However, Mol asked Hungarian residents in the current fuel market situation to act responsibly in order to ensure that everyone has enough fuel. The company remarked that in recent months,
demand at domestic filling stations has increased significantly, with a 20 percent increase in the overall market and a 50 percent increase in Mol’s network.
Meanwhile, on the supply side, the company has faced a number of challenges: foreign imports have fallen, several refineries in the region are temporarily operating at reduced capacity, and oil deliveries on the Friendship pipeline have been interrupted for several days.
Despite this, if everyone fills up only as much as they need, there will be enough fuel in the country, they emphasized. In line with its previous recommendation, Mol continues to ask its customers to fill up to 50 liters a day to help ensure an uninterrupted fuel supply in the country.
As Hungary Today reported earlier, Hungarians are only eligible to refuel once a day at MOL petrol stations. Meanwhile, another company, Normbenz Magyarország Kft., the owner and operator of Lukoil stations, announced that they are limiting the amount of fuel so people can only refuel 20 liters on low-pressure wells, and a maximum of 150 liters on high pressure ones at a time.
The news about the payment had a positive impact on the market. After the announcement, the Budapest Stock Exchange’s share index, BUX, started to rise, gaining almost two percent. Among the leading shares, Mol and OTP gained 3 and 2.4 percent respectively in the first hour after the announcement.
The Hungarian forint also reacted positively, strengthening after the morning’s decline. Currently, the euro is trading around 398 forints.
News came on Monday that the crude oil stopped arriving in Hungary through the Friendship pipeline on August 4th after Russian company Transneft stopped the delivery. Transneft said that Ukraine has suspended Russian oil flows to southern Europe because Western sanctions prevented them from receiving transit fees from Moscow. According to Transneft, payments were made for August oil transit to Ukraine’s pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta on July 22nd, but the money was sent back on July 28th since the payment did not go through.
Featured Photo: MTI/Komka Péter