NewsUkrainian AI drone strikes cut Russian oil revenue by 20%

Ukrainian AI drone strikes cut Russian oil revenue by 20%

Russia loses on Ukrainian attacks
Russia loses on Ukrainian attacks
Images source: © Getty Images | 2023 Anadolu Agency

8:52 AM EDT, April 13, 2024

In March, the revenue from the sale of Russian oil decreased, as reported by Kommersant, based on data from the International Energy Agency. According to a report by Interfax, export revenues from oil dropped by 20%. Attacks from Ukrainian troops on Russian refineries partially caused this decline.

Based on the International Energy Agency's data, Kommersant's report indicates that in March, the exports of Russian oil and petroleum products rose by approximately 210 thousand barrels per day compared to February, reaching $7.84 million. Despite this increase, the revenue from these exports fell by 20% to $9.3 billion in the same month. The primary reason for this situation was the attacks by Ukrainian forces on Russian refineries, which led to an increase in oil exports while causing a decrease in the delivery of petroleum products. Renovations at Russian refineries also influenced the decline in supplies.

Ukrainian attacks on refineries

For weeks, Ukrainians have targeted Russian refineries with drone attacks. Specifically, in March, the GUR and SBU confirmed strikes on refineries in locations including Slavyansk in Krasnodar Krai, Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov Oblast, and others in Ryazan, Kstovo in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and Kirishi in the Leningrad Oblast. Reports from Russian and Ukrainian media also mentioned air strikes on refineries in Syzran and Novokuibyshevsk in the Samara region and a fire near a power plant in Petersburg.

At the start of April, Reuters reported that the processing capabilities of Russian refineries, rendered inoperable in the first quarter of 2024 due to drone attacks, were about 4.6 million tons of crude oil (or an average of 370,500 barrels per day). This represents approximately 7% of the total processing capabilities of facilities across the country, with other sources indicating losses of up to 10%.

CNN has highlighted that the success of Ukrainian attacks on refineries has been enabled by advanced drones, some of which incorporate artificial intelligence (AI). This technology allows the drones to operate fully autonomously without needing to communicate with a command centre during flight, thereby increasing their reliability, as an anonymous source from the Ukrainian drone development program noted.

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