Official: Normal Druzhba flow due mid-May

The Druzhba oil pipeline between Russia and Europe will resume normal operations in mid-May after a month-long curtailment responding to contamination, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The Druzhba oil pipeline between Russia and Europe will resume normal operations in mid-May after a month-long curtailment responding to contamination, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The system cut operations after Belneftekhim of Belarus on Apr. 19 reported organochloride content many times above allowable levels.

The 220,000-b/d Naftan refinery at Novopolotsk and 241,000-b/d Slavneft refinery at Mozyr were reported to have cut throughput by half and on Apr. 23 halted product exports to Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic countries.

Poland, Germany, Ukraine, and Slovakia suspended crude deliveries from the Druzhba system, according to TASS.

Transneft, the state-owned oil pipeline operator, said the contamination was deliberate, occurring at its Samaratransneft Terminal in southwestern Russia. The terminal receives crude oil from local producers.

Novak on May 7 said four persons had been arrested.

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