The Druzhba pipeline is losing significance in oil supply to the Czech Republic
The Druzhba pipeline is being used to a lesser extent as a supply route for Czech refineries. Its role is being gradually taken over by the Ingolstadt–Kralupy (IKL) pipeline, supplying oil from the western direction, which already accounts for more than 40% of oil supplies to the Czech Republic. Some of the oil delivered by IKL is supplied by Russia. A successive increase in Russian oil supplies via IKL is putting into question the future of Druzhba as the main route for oil supplies to the Czech Republic.
According to data published by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first half of 2010 over 2.2 million tons of Russian oil was imported to the Czech Republic via the southern section of Druzhba, which accounted for approximately 58% of total oil imports. Since in the first six months of 2010 total oil supplies to the Czech Republic reached approximately 3.8 million tons, this means a significant fall in Druzhba’s share (previously as high as 70%) in the total volume of supplies.
The significance of the IKL pipeline, which supplies oil to the Czech Republic through the German border, is growing. Supplies via IKL have so far accounted for almost 25% of the demand of Czech refineries. Further development of supplies via IKL has been hampered by higher transport costs resulting from the need to use maritime transport (to the port in Trieste) and the Transalpine Pipeline (TAL). Despite Druzhba’s diminishing significance, Russian oil is still predominant in supplies to the Czech Republic as it is also transported via IKL. IKL is also used to import oil to the Czech Republic from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Libya. <boc>