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Published: 17 september 2012 17:42

Orlen's crude supplier Gunvor losing contracts in Russia

Orlen Lietuva
Orlen Lietuva

Swiss-registered Gunvor, which supplies crude to Orlen, has lost long-term contracts in Russia, raising concern that the Polish oil group may face problems securing supply of crude oil, the Polish online news site Wnp.pl reports.

Gunvor has lost a contract with Rosneft, which may cause supply problems for Orlen, it writes.

"The crude refineries in Plock and Mažeikiai cannot process crude other than Urals-type crude. The alternative is to change suppliers, but that will not happen right away and does not necessarily mean lower crude prices," Wnp.pl says.

Swiss-registered Gunvor until recently controlled around half of Russian oil exports by sea. According to Wnp.pl, rumors have emerged in the Polish and Russian media that Gunvor CEO Gennady Timchenko, who was considered to be a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has lost his influence in the Kremlin. Gunvor will stop being a major exporter of Rosneft oil starting in October.

Gunvor had contracts with Rosneft, Gazpromneft, and TNK-BP. The Swiss-based company has said that it does not plan to stop handling Russian oil, but is replacing long-term contracts with spot contracts in order to obtain better margins.

Orlen, the owner of Orlen Lietuva, the sole crude refinery in the Baltics, signed 730 million dollars worth of contracts with Gunvor in the period between 22 March 2011 and 31 January 2012.

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