• Orlen says first Saudi shipment may yield long-term deals
  • Rosneft CEO questions reliability of Saudi oil deliveries

Poland’s top refiner PKN Orlen SA will take delivery of its first crude from Saudi Arabia next month, a shipment that could mark the start of new trade relationship undermining the traditional dominance of Russian supplies.

“The delivery may result in longer cooperation,” Chief Executive Officer Jacek Krawiec said at a conference in Warsaw on Thursday. Orlen’s largest refinery in Plock, which can process 16.3 million metric tons of crude annually, and its 10.2 million-tons-year Lithuanian facility could both use Saudi crude.

Orlen is considering buying oil from Saudi Arabia and Iran as it seeks better terms amid a global supply glut. The refiner, which buys more than 90 percent of its crude from Russia, is also looking to renew two mid-term contracts that end in December and January with OAO Rosneft and Mercuria Energy Group Ltd.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin questioned Saudi Arabia’s strategy of boosting output to defend market share as crude prices slump, and cast doubt on the reliability of its supplies.

“The question arises to what extent these supplies can be long-term and reliable?” Sechin said in comments made in Russian in Verona, Italy. “The point being that Middle Eastern oil sent to Europe doesn’t have any logistical advantage when compared with its supplies to the Asia-Pacific Region.”

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