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Russia says Druzhba oil flow to fully resume within two weeks

Russia says Druzhba oil flow to fully resume within two weeks

Russia will resume stable oil flows via the Druzhba export pipeline to Europe within two weeks, the country’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak said Friday.

Poland, Slovakia and Hungary have halted oil imports from Russia via the pipeline due to contamination in one of the key arteries linking Russia to central Europe and Germany.

After talks between Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, which hosts a part of the pipeline and which first called alert to contamination last weekend, the parties decided on a series of technological steps to eliminate the consequences of the incident, Mr Kozak said, according to Interfax.

“This will allow delivering crude in line with the standards to the Belarusian border by April 29, as suggested before, and to fully recover stable pipeline operation within two weeks,” he said, adding it requires co-ordinated action by all countries the pipeline crosses.

Russia’s national oil pipeline operator, Transneft, said earlier in the day, the source of “intentional” contamination had been established at a private Samara terminal, according to Interfax.

“We can say for certain now that the injection of the chloride compounds took place via the knot belonging to Samaratransneft-Terminal private company, which takes in and analyses the quality of crude from several producers,” Transneft’s spokesman Igor Dyomin said.

Crude from the Druzhba pipeline — one of the biggest oil pipeline networks in the world — is processed in the refineries of groups including Poland’s PKN Orlen and plants in Germany owned by France’s Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Rosneft. Smaller refineries in southeastern Europe are also connected.