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Situation with Druzhba pipeline won't affect Russia’s share in oil market — Gazprom Neft

Head of the company Alexander Dyukov said that "we simply sent the oil that we extracted along other routes"

ST. PETERSBURG, June 6. /TASS/. Gazprom Neft does not believe that the situation with low-quality oil in the Druzhba pipeline will affect Russia's share in the global oil market, Head of the company Alexander Dyukov told reporters.

"In the medium term, in the long term, this will not affect in any way the decisions on purchases and supplies that will be made by oil refiners," he said.

"It didn’t affect the volume of oil production. We simply sent the oil that we extracted along other routes," he said and asked not to dramatize the situation.

Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin said on June 3 that all participants in negotiations on settlement of the situation with contaminated oil supplies via the Druzhba oil pipeline had reached common understanding of the principles for computation of damages for off-spec oil deliveries. He explained that though the parties worked out a general mechanism to determine damages from contaminated oil and subsequent compensations the figures would be computed individually for each offtaker and shipper. The mechanism of calculating compensations was preliminarily discussed with oil companies and Transneft in the government and later was submitted to foreign colleagues.

The Druzhba oil pipeline provides supplies of oil to Belarusian refineries and its transit to Europe through Belarus, Poland and Ukraine.

In mid-April, Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration in the quality of the Russian oil running through the pipeline. As a result, several states stopped receiving and refining the Russian oil. The contaminant source was revealed at the Samara-Unecha section. Transneft said that the Russian oil in the Druzhba pipeline was deliberately contaminated. Law enforcement agencies initiated a respective criminal case. Official spokeswoman of the Russian Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko told reporters earlier that contaminated oil was loaded into the Druzhba oil pipeline in order to conceal multiple oil thefts.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko have agreed on measures to clean the pipeline, so as the supplies of clean oil to Poland could be resumed by mid-June. Supplies of on-spec oil to Belarus resumed in early May.