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Belarus notifies Russia of stopping oil transit to Europe

April 25, 2019/ 08:14

Minsk. Belarusian pipeline operator Gomeltransneft Druzhba notified its Russian partners of stopping oil transit via the Druzhba oil pipeline following a similar decision by Poland. The chief engineer of the company Andrey Verigo reported on Wednesday.

Verigo was quoted as saying by the BelTA news agency that Polish pipeline operator PERN "stopped the transportation of oil to Poland in the Adamovo hub for an indefinite period."

"We have received a message from PERN [operator of the pipeline’s Polish stretch] that oil refineries in Poland and Germany have been unable to accept and process the oil which currently arrives to the Adamovo hub," he was quoted as saying. "At 22:00 Warsaw time [21:00 Moscow time] they stopped accepting the oil, or, in other words, stopped the transportation of oil to Poland in the Adamovo hub for an indefinite period."

"In line with this message [from the Polish side], Gomeltransneft Druzhba has sent a phone message to [the Western Russian city of] Bryansk about stopping the transit via the Western route due to the delivery of low-quality oil and PERN’s refusal to accept it," the statement reads.

At the same time, Verigo said Belarus continues transiting about 40,000 tonnes of oil to Ukraine daily.

"In the West, the west-bound stretch of the pipeline from Mozyr has been completely stopped, all valves have been closed. Deliveries continue via another leg, in volumes needed to ensure Ukraine-bound deliveries, this amounts to about 40,000 tonnes per day," he said.

Meanwhile, the company said on its website that it continued oil transit for refineries in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary via the territory of Ukraine.

"The Ukraine-bound transit of oil for refineries in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary continues. The low-quality oil will arrive to oil transfer stations in Hungary and Slovakia in about 4-5 days," the company said.

The Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim) belives that its Russian partners have failed to promptly solve the problem of poor-quality oil supplies, company spokeswoman Marina Kostyuchenko said.

"For about a week, Belneftekhim has been raising the alarm due to supplies of poor-quality oil by the Russian side, patiently negotiating with Transneft and insisting on solving the problem of delivering oil that meets the standards to Belarusian refineries and pipelines as soon as possible," Kostyuchenko was quoted as saying by the BelTA news agency. "However, the Russian side has delayed taking timely measures despite its promises to solve the matter within two or three days."

According to the spokeswoman, "Polish [pipeline] operator PERN has stopped accepting the oil."

"This will damage the reputation of Russian oil suppliers to Europe and, regretfully, will complicate the work of the Belarusian pipeline sector and the Mozyr oil refinery," she added.

On Friday, April 19, Belarus announced a sharp deterioration in the quality of oil coming from Russia through the section of the trunk oil pipeline Druzhba, informs TASS. The company informed operators of the Druzhba pipeline from other countries about the current situation. The source of pollution was found on the Samara-Unecha section of Druzhba.

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