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Oil company MOL curbs fuel supplies as Russian imports fall ‘substantially’

Hungarian oil and gas group MOL said it was temporarily curbing fuel deliveries to some retailers as oil supplies from Russia fell “substantially” below normal levels, the company told state news agency MTI on Friday.

Oil supply to parts of Central and Eastern Europe via a section of the Druzhba pipeline were temporarily suspended on Tuesday after a Russian rocket hit a power station close to the Belarus border which provides electricity for a pump station.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday that oil shipments via the pipeline have restarted.

But MOL told MTI on Friday that Hungary’s oil imports have fallen as deliveries via the pipeline resumed only at a low pressure.

MOL also said maintenance at its main Danube refinery in Hungary caused a drop in capacity, affecting all of its products.

MOL spokespeople did not immediately respond to questions about when normal oil flows could resume.

MOL said it was cutting deliveries to retailers it was not legally required to supply and that the change affected a tenth of Hungary’s petrol stations.

The Alliance of Independent Petrol Stations (FBSZ) wrote open letters to both MOL and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, asking them to revoke these rules and help small retailers.

FBSZ said MOL’s supply restrictions affected a fifth of petrol stations.

The government introduced a limit on fuel prices a year ago, capping the price of petrol and diesel at 480 forints ($1.22) per litre for drivers of privately owned vehicles, farm vehicles and taxis.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anita Komuves. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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