Transit through the pipeline "Friendship" through the territory of Ukraine for four months of this year was reduced because of complaints of European consumers on the quality of oil, said an official representative of the company "Transneft" Igor Demin, TASS.
"Friendship" was built in the 1960s to deliver oil from the Volgouralsk oil and gas region to the countries of Eastern Europe, which were part of the socialist bloc. The northern section of the pipeline runs through Belarus, Poland, Germany, Lithuania and Latvia, and the southern part of the pipeline runs through Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Croatia.
According to Demin, transit on the northern branch decreased by 1.4%, deliveries to Hungary decreased by 280 thousand tons (18%) in four months, to Slovakia - by 130 thousand tons (8%).
Consumers in Hungary reduced consumption because of the quality of oil, explained Demin. According to him, now the sulfur content in oil is 1.75%, the Hungarian side believes that this figure should be equal to 1.5%.
Now the Russian section of the pipeline is operated by a subsidiary of Transneft - Transneft-Druzhba, which owns 24 oil pumping stations and 14 oil products stations. The length of the company's oil pipelines is 4 thousand km, and it is managed by 3,8 thousand oil product pipelines.
Last year, European companies receiving oil from Druzhba complained twice to the Ministry of Energy about the high sulfur content of oil, told the vice-president of Transneft Sergei Andronov at the end of November. One of the complaints, he said, came from Hungary. Andronov also said that in 2018, the sulfur content of oil coming through the Druzhba will be 1.8% at a rate of 1.75%.
In 2018, Transneft intends to send 5 billion rubles. to "maintain the quality" of oil exported for oil, said its vice-president Igor Katsal on February 27. According to him, in 2018 the company will take measures to maintain oil sulphure "at a normal level." Katsal also said that the company asked the Ministry of Energy to change the scheme of normal technological cargo flows and increase the maximum allowable sulfur content in the flow through "Druzhba" from 1.71 to 1.8%.
Transneft was also told that the company intends to increase transit to European countries via Ukraine. "If to talk about transit, last year transit to Hungary through Ukraine amounted to 500 thousand tons, and this year we expect more than 1 million tons," - said Deputy Vice President Vladimir Nazarov.