Russia plans to start pumping standard oil through the Druzhba pipeline to Poland on Monday, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday: “We are normalizing the process in accordance with the roadmap. Now there is a lot of work in this direction with our European partners. ”
But pumping did not start and will not start at least until Thursday, the source in the Ministry of Energy of one of the European countries, a person close to the counterpart of Transneft, and a Russian official told Vedomosti. “By agreement with Transneft, Belarus is ready to resume pumping in the direction of Ukraine and Poland. So far there is no pumping in either direction or the other, ”said a representative of Belneftekhim.
The reason is that Poland did not agree on the pumping parameters, the Vedomosti interlocutors, two Russian officials and the interlocutor in Belneftekhim know. For whatever reason, Poland refuses to negotiate oil transit, the Vedomosti interlocutors do not say. One of them suggests that the case may be in compensation, which Poland is going to ask.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Moravetsky said Tuesday that Russian oil suppliers made big mistakes by supplying contaminated oil and must pay compensation for it. The amount he did not call. A representative of PERN (Polish Oil Transit) and the Polish Ministry of Energy did not respond to Vedomosti questions.
On Tuesday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told Interfax that they could not agree finally with the Polish colleagues on the method and conditions for clearing the pipeline from contaminated oil. We agreed with other countries - Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine - Kozak continued, resolving technical issues: the physical release of the oil pipeline from contaminated oil. Polish colleagues suddenly wanted to know what the discount would be, Kozak said, additional negotiations will take place on Thursday.
About 400,000 tons of polluted organochlorine oil remained in the Polish pipe and there is no plan for how to deal with it, a European official knows. “Poland managed to take about 1 million tons of oil with a high content of dichloroethane,” said Gomeltransneft Druzhba’s chief engineer Andrei Verigo at the beginning of May, this company belongs to Belneftekhim and is responsible for pumping oil through Belarus. Another 1.2 million tons of dirty Russian oil remains on the territory of Belarus, chairman of Belneftekhim Andrei Rybakov told Interfax on Tuesday.
“We consider three options for what to do with oil from Poland: store in Germany, process at local refineries, or return to Russia via Rostock,” says a European official. The oil refinery in Leuna suspended work, the factory owner, Total, said last Friday. “This refinery tried to start refining Russian oil with a content of 80 ppm (millionths; GOST - 10 ppm. -“ Vedomosti ”) dichloroethane, but it broke down,” the source told Vedomosti, they did not find free storage facilities in Germany.
The representative of the Ministry of Economics and Energy of Germany "Vedomosti" did not answer.
The Schwedt Refinery, whose co-owner is Rosneft, was transferred to a 50% load. The representative of Rosneft does not comment on the situation. A European official and an interviewee close to a Russian company claim that the company is transferred to oil supplies through the port of Rostock. Representatives of Rosneft, Dmitry Kozak and the Ministry of Energy did not answer the questions of Vedomosti. The representative of Transneft declined to comment.
The Russian oil contaminated with organochlorine compounds went to the Belarusian refinery in Mozyr (owned by Belneftekhim) on April 19 via the Druzhba pipeline. Permissible norms of organochlorine content were exceeded several dozen times. According to GOST, the content of dichloroethane per 10 ppm is allowed in oil, and in polluted oil it exceeded on average 150–180 ppm, and at first 300 ppm.
After that, the main transit countries - Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia - stopped pumping oil through Druzhba. After negotiations with the Russian Transneft, they decided that they would clear the pipe of contaminated oil and drain it into tanks.
A representative of Belneftekhim stated that up to 5 million tons of oil was contaminated in total, the source of Vedomosti, close to the Russian Ministry of Energy, insisted that no more than 3 million tons of such oil.
The Druzhba pipeline has several forks on its way to Europe - the first one in the Russian village of Unecha. From there pipes go to Belarus, to the Russian Ust-Luga and to the Baltic States. The second fork in the road is near the Belarusian Mozyr: to the north (two lines with a throughput of 49.8 million tons of oil per year) and the southern branch (three lines, 16.7 million tons). The northern oil goes to Poland, which stopped pumping Russian oil in late April. On the southern part of the pipe, Russian oil goes through Ukraine to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
It’s not a problem to take oil out of Russia, one port of Primorsk will be enough for that, says General Director of Infoline-analytics Mikhail Burmistrov. “The capacity of Primorsk is 60 million tons, last year oil transshipment there amounted to only 38.5 million tons. The port of Novorossiysk (excluding the terminal in Yuzhnaya Ozereyka) can transfer up to 50 million tons, last year it was loaded by 55%. Up to 38 million tons of oil a year can be sent abroad via Ust-Luga, the load in 2018 was 73%, ”lists Burmistrov. “But delivering Russian oil to Europe can be problematic without Friendship - tank capacities in Polish Gdansk and in German Rostock are not capable of accepting the required volume of Russian oil. Oil and oil products transshipment in the port of Rostock - 2.3 million tons, in Gdansk - 15.5 million tons per year, ”the expert concludes.