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Russia to restore oil supplies within two weeks

Christian Fernsby |
The Energy Ministry, pipeline monopoly Transneft, oil companies and Russian Railways agreed on Thursday on measures to improve the quality of oil shipped through the Druzhba pipeline.

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“The Energy Ministry of the Russian Federation jointly with Transneft, Russian Railways and Russian oil companies held a meeting on April 25 on organochlorine compounds content in the oil shipped to foreign consumers via the Druzhba trunk pipeline,” the ministry said. “An algorithm of activities to minimize content of dichlorethane was agreed.”

The Energy Ministry, Transneft and Russian Railways will negotiate oil quality with Belarus, Poland and Ukraine later on Friday.

Belarus’s Belneftekhim reduced exports of oil products from Belarus because of a rapid worsening of the quality of oil it receives from Russia on April 21.

On Monday, the Mozyr oil refinery in Belarus blamed poor-quality Russian oil for a failure of its equipment. Belarus asked to raise exports of non-contaminated oil to the Naftan refinery through the northern thread of the Druzhba pipe to compensate for poor oil.

On Thursday, operator of Poland’s segment of the Druzhba oil pipeline PERN notified Belarus that it had suspended Russian oil transit across the pipeline due to its low quality. Later that day, Ukrain? stopped transit of Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline as well.

Poland, Germany, and some other countries suspended imports of Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline this week due to the contamination.

"An investigation into contaminated Russian oil should be carried out with the help of law-enforcement agencies," Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Beijing on Saturday.

Russia plans to restore oil supplies via the pipeline to Europe in two weeks.

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