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Contaminated oil from Druzhba pipeline largely localized in Russia — Transneft

The company is also discussing compensations "to be made in connection with sustained damages"

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. A significant portion of oil contaminated by chlorides, which had entered the Druzhba oil pipeline in spring, was driven out to Russia and measures are undertaken to normalize its quality, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft, Nikolai Tokarev said on Monday at the meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

"All the acute consequences were mitigated. Off-spec oil, a considerable portion thereof, is currently in the territory of Russia and all the necessary measures are taken to normalize its quality," Tokarev said.

The company is also discussing with partners "the compensation to be made in connection with sustained damages," the top manager noted. "Normal and on-spec oil is currently supplied to all destinations: Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, part of the territory of Ukraine and two refineries in Belarus," Tokarev added.

The top manager also made a proposal to turn over to Transneft operational management of oil intake points currently owned by oil producers or private companies. Tokarev also suggested holding unified accreditation and certification for chemical laboratories that perform laboratory testing of crude oil quality.

In mid-April, the Belarusian concern Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration in the quality of the Russian oil running through the Druzhba pipeline, which supplies oil to Belarusian refineries and provides its transit to Europe via Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. Transit and refining were suspended. Minsk and Moscow started intergovernmental talks on compensation issues in May. Clean oil pumping from Russia to Belarus resumed in May.

On June 19, a new source of oil contamination was registered in the pipeline segment running from Belarus to Poland. Oil throughput over the segment controlled by Poland’s pipeline operator PERN was suspended and restarted on June 20.