All news

Belarus to continue talks on Russian oil supplies next week — state-run company

Belarusian and Russian officials met on April 23 to discuss the problem of low-quality oil supplies from Russia

MINSK, April 27. /TASS/. The talks on oil supplies from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline, in which the Russian companies will take part, are to continue on Monday and Tuesday, the CEO of the Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim) has said.

"We will continue the talks with the participation of Russian oil companies on Monday-Tuesday next week," Andrei Rybakov said late on Friday.

Belarusian and Russian officials met on April 23 to discuss the problem of low-quality oil supplies from Russia. The Belneftekhim CEO visited Moscow on April 25. On Friday, Druzhba oil pipeline operators met in Minsk to discuss a technical solution to supplying the refineries with oil.

According to Rybakov, Belarus would restore oil processing in full volume next month.

"We expect oil processing and deliveries, including for export, to be restored in full volume in May," he said.

According to the Belarusian official, the timeframe for resuming the Russian deliveries of clean oil has already been set: it is expected to reach the Belarusian border in late April.

He estimates the volume of poor-quality oil in the country’s oil pipeline system at approximately 1 million tonnes.

Rybakov said it was too early to speak about the losses, caused by the incident.

On April 19, the Belarusian concern Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration of the quality of the Russian oil running through the Druzhba oil pipeline and subsequently informed pipeline operators from other countries about the situation. The content of chlororganic compounds in the oil showed excess of limit value by ten folds, the company said.

On April 23, Belarus suspended exports of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries due to poor quality oil supplied to its refineries. Poland also refused to accept Russian crude delivered via the Druzhba pipeline.

The Russian authorities admitted the fact that the oil supplied via the pipeline is of poor quality, but said the problem was technical and would be resolved soon. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak vowed that crude of proper quality would reach the Belarusian border on April 29.

The source of pollution was found on the Samara-Unecha section of Druzhba. Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft said the pollution was caused by deliberate actions, and a criminal investigation was launched into the matter.