“Clean water fraud in violation of all instructions and regulatory requirements,” Nikolai Tokarev, Transneft’s head, justified himself in front of Vladimir Putin for dirty oil in the pipeline on Friday, April 30.
“They cheated, and the damage for us is both economic, material and image damage is very serious!” The president was indignant.
Putin proposed Tokarev to change the quality control system of the oil coming to the pipeline, he promised to supplement the regulatory framework and regulations that will increase the control ability in the Transneft system.
Tokarev assured that Transeft, together with the Ministry of Energy and oil companies, agreed on measures to localize all the consequences.
How much lost
About 5 million tons of oil in the Druzhba pipeline were contaminated, Gomeltransoil Druzhba chief engineer Andrei Verigo told Vedomosti. Its value based on the price of Russian oil Urals as of April 30 is $ 2.6 billion.
The losses are less, says a person close to the Russian Ministry of Energy: “only 3 million tons of polluted oil” worth $ 1.6 billion. Vedomosti is waiting for comments from a representative of the Ministry of Energy. The representative of Transneft declined to comment.
On the territory of Belarus in the pipes “Gomeltransneft Druzhba” about 850,000 tons of polluted oil, at production sites of Belarusian refineries another 400,000 tons. Poland managed to take about 1 million tons of oil with a high content of dichloroethane, Ukraine - 1.8 million tons, Verigo lists . The rest is in Russia, he argues.
Cleaning the southern and northern Druzhba pipelines will begin on May 1, Verigo told Vedomosti: according to the technical regulations of Transneft and Gomeltransneft Druzhba, the oil contaminated with dichloroethane will be drained into the tanks of the Unecha parks (in Russia) and Mozyr (Belarus) ).
The southern route of the Druzhba pipeline through Belarus, Ukraine and Slovakia is two lines with a throughput of 16.7 million tons, the northern is three lines with a throughput of 49.8 million tons on the territory of Belarus to Poland. After cleaning, each route will have one thread, Verigo says. The remaining strings containing dirty oil will be used as storage until the drained oil is cleaned.
Gomeltransneft Druzhba plans to reach 60–65% of the nominal average annual load (or 40% of the design capacity of the system) from May 10 to 11. The treatment works will reduce the throughput of the Druzhba pipeline by 60% of the design capacity in the first months after refining, and by the end of the year Gomeltransneft Druzhba will be able to pump only 40 million tons of Russian oil to Poland through Ukraine to the West, Verigo says. In 2018, 48.9 million tons passed through Druzhba.
It is important to understand that the launch of the system is only the beginning of the path: it will work “in a functionally limited mode,” Verigo said. According to him, the new oil without dichloroethane impurity will arrive at the Mozyr Oil Refinery on May 4th.
What to replace
There are two ways to deliver oil to Europe: by rail (last Friday, Russian Railways announced that it was ready to provide up to 5,000 tanks due to technical problems of transit) and through the seaports - the Baltic Ust-Luga and Primorsk, as well as Novorossiysk. To pump 8.9 million tons, Primorsk alone is enough, says General Director of Infoline-Analytics Mikhail Burmistrov: its capacity is 60 million tons, but last year oil transshipment was only 38.5 million tons. Ust-Luga could transshill 38 million tons of oil per year, the load in 2018 was 73%, and Novorossiysk (excluding the terminal in Southern Ozereyka) - 50 million tons, its load last year was 55%, says Burmistrov. Of course, the redistribution of flows to Primorsk will increase the cost of transporting oil companies, but not by much, he said.
“A private enterprise in the Samara region, it is a kind of collector <...> at this enterprise, in violation of all technological regulations, was deliberately discharged oil that did not undergo product training,” Tokarev told Putin.
A representative of Transneft on Friday announced that the discharge of substandard oil occurred through the Samaratransneft-terminal receiving unit, but the company said on the same day that it did not own the receiving unit in 2017 and its new owner is Perevalka ". A representative of this company did not respond to Vedomosti questions.