SOCHI, May 15. /TASS/. Russia will fully resume export of clean crude through the Druzhba pipeline in late May-early June, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.
"We plan it for in late May-early June. Exports will be fully resumed through the Druzhba pipeline. This will be high-quality oil," the minister said.
According to him, it may take up to one month to assess the damage related to the incident on the pipeline.
"I think it will be clearer within a month," Novak said.
According to him, the total damage from oil contamination in the Druzhba pipeline will not exceed $100 mln.
The Druzhba pipeline system secures oil supplies to Belarusian refineries and oil transit to Europe through Belarus in two directions - through Poland and Ukraine.
Druzhba pipeline incident
On April 19, the Belarusian petrochemical company Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration in the quality of the Russian oil running through the pipeline. Both Belarusian refineries - the Mozyr refinery (Gomel region) and Naftan (Vitebsk region) - reported the risk of equipment facing damage and almost halved the refining volumes. On April 23, Belarus was forced to halt exports of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries due to deliveries of poor quality oil.
Poland, Germany, Ukraine and Slovakia suspended crude oil supplies from Russia through the Druzhba oil pipeline. The pollutant was revealed at the Samara-Unecha section. Russia’s Energy Ministry referred to technical issues as the reason for the contamination of the oil, saying that the problem would be ironed out quickly. A criminal case was initiated in connection with the incident.
Supplies of clean Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline to Belarus resumed on May 2. Ukraine resumed oil transit to Europe on May 11. Transneft pipeline operator reported that the supply of standard oil to Slovakia and Hungary will resume between May 21 and May 24. In the near future, the resumption of deliveries to Poland and Germany is also expected.