Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in the oil crisis: the challenges of ending the exemption and finding new suppliers
The previous exemption for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, which allowed the import of Russian oil, has ended, which means that these countries are now not allowed to resell this oil within the European Union. This exemption was crucial for the Czech Republic because it was the only EU country to import oil from the Slovak refinery Slovnaft.
Now these countries find themselves in a situation where they have to find new suppliers or outlets for their oil products. The Ministry of Industry and Trade now has the priority task of replacing Russian oil with supplies from other sources as quickly as possible. The completion of the TAL Plus pipeline and the modification of domestic refineries should support this goal, but full replacement of Russian oil is not expected until 2025. Marek Vošahlík, head of the MIT press department, said that negotiations are currently underway to ensure sufficient fuel supply on the domestic market.
However, questions have been raised about whether the Czech Republic will be able to secure sufficient fuel and how this will affect market prices. Ivan Indráček, chairman of the Union of Independent Petroleum Producers of the Czech Republic, says that in theory there should be enough fuel, but there are several unknowns. Unipetrol and Cepro, the two largest suppliers on the market, say fuel will be sufficient even after imports from Slovakia end. However, experience shows that the fuel market cannot always be relied upon to be in an ideal state, although both suppliers claim to be able to supply the market.If the exemption is not extended, the Czech Republic will be forced to look for new fuel suppliers, as its own production cannot cover the country’s needs. Experts mention that the price of fuel could rise. Refineries will try to maintain high margins, although the lifting of the exemption may lead to higher transport costs and thus higher prices. Germany and other western countries are seen as possible alternatives for fuel supplies. The European Commission is expected to decide on the extension of the exemption next week.
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