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What is Novatek’s Ust-Luga fuel terminal and why was it attacked?

Russian energy company Novatek on Sunday was forced to suspend some operations at Ust-Luga, a huge Baltic Sea fuel export terminal and processing complex, due to a fire started by what Ukrainian media said was a drone attack.

The attack is the third on Russia’s large energy infrastructure facilities in the past week following drone assaults by Ukraine on an oil terminal in Russia’s second-largest city of St Petersburg and a storage facility in the town of Klintsy in the western Bryansk region.

Following are some facts about Novatek’s main export terminal for oil products in the Leningrad region:

* According to Novatek, the Ust-Luga complex, launched in 2013, processes gas condensate into light and heavy naphtha, jet fuel, ship fuel component (fuel oil) and gasoil, and enables the company to ship oil products as well as gas condensate to international markets.

* Novatek produces mostly naphtha for Asia, including China, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia, as well as jet fuel with delivery to Istanbul for Turkish Airlines.

* In 2022, the Ust-Luga complex processed 6.943 million metric tons of gas condensate into 6.825 million tons of end products, including 4.208 million tons of light and heavy naphtha, 1.052 million tons of jet fuel and 1.487 million tons of ship fuel component (fuel oil) and gasoil as well as 78,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas.

* The nearby oil outlet of Ust-Luga, which has not been affected by the attack, exported 34 million tons (680,000 barrels per day) of crude oil in 2023, up 9% from the previous year, according to oil pipeline monopoly Transneft.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Sonali Paul and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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