Full recovery of oil transit via the Druzhba pipeline will take several months of hard work, the Belarusian state oil company Belneftekhim said Tuesday.
According to the company, the measures that have been undertaken will only allow the resumption of operations of one branch of the pipeline while "full recovery will take several months of hard work.”
Last Wednesday, Belneftekhim halted the transit because of the poor quality of its oil, which was discovered on April 19.
According to the Gomeltransneft Druzhba dispatching service, the pumping of clean Russian oil from Russia's Unecha to the Belarusian-Russian border and to the Mozyr oil refinery started at 17.40 on Monday, April 29. As of 9.00 local time on April 30, clean oil reached the 30-kilometer level from Unecha.
Fifty thousand tonnes of low quality oil will be removed from the Russian pipeline branch to the Unecha tank farm in Russia. In addition, over 120,000 tonnes of polluted oil will be removed from the Belarusian section to a tank farm at the Mozyr Oil Refinery in Belarus.
“Taking into account the speed and schedule of oil movement, as well as the distance (106 km from Unecha to the border), clean Russian oil will reach Belarus at 23.00 [local time] on May 2 at the earliest. The Mozyr Oil Refinery will receive clean oil no earlier than 4 May,” the company said.
Belneftekhim said that negotiations to fix the issue around the deliveries of poor quality oil from Russia and to ensure full capacity transit are continuing and on April 30, representatives of Belneftekhim, Transneft and oil transport companies will reconvene at the Russian Ministry of Energy.
Ukrainian company Uktransnaft last week also announced the temporary closure of Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline.
By Talha Yavuz