Home Business amount Austria releases part of oil reserves after refinery incident

Austria releases part of oil reserves after refinery incident

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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer delivers a speech during the Austrian People’s Party (OeVP) conference in Graz, Austria May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Leutner

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ZURICH, June 4 (Reuters) – Austria is releasing some of its strategic oil reserves to avert fuel shortages after an incident at one of the country’s refineries, the government said on Saturday.

Fuel reserves amounting to 112,000 tonnes of diesel and 56,000 tonnes of gasoline were made available to cover the loss of production at the OMV plant (OMVV.VI) in Schwechat, near Vienna, at the following a mechanical accident which occurred on Friday.

The release should be enough to cover the refinery’s loss of production for 14 days, the government said. The supplies will come from Austria’s oil reserve, sufficient to cover the country’s oil consumption for 90 days.

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“We are acting quickly and releasing part of the reserve so that no bottlenecks can occur,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said in a statement.

“Despite this incident, the security of fuel supply is assured, so no one has to worry. There are still sufficient reserves available should the need arise.”

Neighboring Hungary, where OMV has nearly 200 filling stations, said fuel supply was secure, with domestic production and sufficient reserves to meet retail demand, refuting a report in local media that said the incident could lead to shortages and the closure of gas stations.

“Hungary also has a large amount of strategic reserves, which can be exploited in an emergency,” said the country’s Ministry of Technology and Industry.

Asked about the Hungarian media report, OMV said the Hungarian market was “essential” and that it had no plans to close stations there.

“We have a supply problem because of the incident at the refinery and we need to resolve it now,” an OMV spokesperson said. “That’s where we are working on it with a lot of energy. For us, to abandon a market or to withdraw, no it is not the case.”

OMV said on Friday that a mechanical incident had occurred at the refinery, which has been under maintenance since April 19.

The incident damaged the main crude oil distillation unit and caused minor injuries to two people, the company said.

“For this reason, the start-up of the refinery will be partially delayed. A review of the extent of the damage and the duration of the shutdown is still ongoing,” OMV said.

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Reporting by John Revill, Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Christina Fincher

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