An end to 'Friendship': Czechia to stop importing Russian oil via the Družba pipeline

State-run oil company Mero and the TAL consortium agreed on increased supplies via an expanded pipeline from Italy. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.05.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 23.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia is ending its reliance on Russian oil. Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced that as of 2025, the country will get its oil from Italy via the expanded Trans Alpine Pipeline (TAL). This means it will no longer be necessary to get oil through the Družba (Friendship) pipeline, which extends from Russia.

State-owned oil company Mero on Monday signed an agreement with the TAL consortium, and Fiala went to Mero’s refinery in Nelahozeves on Tuesday to make the announcement.

“The increase in capacity will make it possible to increase the supply of oil to the Czech Republic by up to 4 million tons per year from reliable suppliers from 2025, which will fully cover our consumption,” Fiala said on Twitter. “This is a significant milestone for our energy independence from Russia, as we will get rid of our dependence on Russian oil,” he added.

He added that last spring, experts predicted Czechia would not be able to do without Russian gas and oil, and that gasoline would either not be available or would not be affordable.

“However, we were able to fully replace gas supplies from Russia and significantly reduce and stabilize the prices of electricity and fuel. The steps we take in the energy sector are well thought out and gradually follow each other,” he said.

Increased supplies will come from Italy

Oil flows through the TAL pipeline from Trieste in Italy to Ingolstadt in Bavaria. From there it continues to the Czech Republic via the IKL pipeline. Another part of the oil currently used in Czechia is now pumped from Russia via the Družba pipeline.


The IKL pipeline is already capable of handling the increased capacity in Czechia, but so far the TAL pipeline has not been able to provide more oil to the Czech border. The newly agreed expansion of the TAL pipeline will fix that.

Fiala said the expansion of the TAL pipeline, called TAL Plus, should be finished next year. Czechia had negotiated an exemption to the ban on importing Russian oil, as it had no alternatives. The expanded pipeline should be in operation before the exemption expires, Fiala said.

In 2022, 7.4 million tons of oil flowed into refineries in the Czech Republic, of which 56 percent came from Russia, according to news server Mero intends to invest CZK 1.3 billion to CZK 1.6 billion in modernizing and modifying parts of its pipeline to be able to handle the new source of oil.

The sole owner of Mero is the state through the Ministry of Finance. Mero owns and operates the Czech part of the Družba pipeline and the IKL pipeline. Both pipelines go to Nelahozeves, where the company has built 17 oil tanks with a storage capacity of almost 1.7 million cubic meters.

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