Belarus loses hundreds millions of dollars due to contaminated oil
MINSK/KIEV/MOSCOW, May 13 (PRIME) -- Contaminated Russian oil coming through the Druzhba pipeline has brought Belarus a loss of hundreds millions of dollars and Minsk expects that Moscow will not dispute it, President Alexander Lukashenko said on May 11, as cited by Belta news agency.
УHe (Russian President Vladimir Putin) understands that there should be compensation for the damage. He said himself that these are huge reputational losses for Russia. Meanwhile, Belarus is in the center of this damage. We have suffered most. He publicly acknowledged that the damage is huge. How big is it? Experts will count. I believe Russians should not dispute this...,Ф Lukashenko said.
Due to oil of low quality the Novopolotsk refinery was operating by 50% and the Mozyr refinery only by one-third, he added.
УThe huge damage has been done to the pipeline and the pipeline equipment, including pumps at stations and everything else, and also to the oil refineries. Two oil refineries have been contaminated, and the Mozyr oil refinery has been contaminated more that the Novopolotsk oil refinery. The country has faced a huge damage,Ф Lukashenko said.
He also said that Minsk would not speculate on the incident with contaminated Russian oil or connect compensation it expects to receive with the situation around the oil tax maneuver.
УThis has nothing to do with the tax maneuver. A disaster has occurred. Was it done intentionally? Let them (in Russia) look into it themselves. According to reports that I receive, clean oil is already coming to our oil refineries. We have pumped out some of the poisoned oil and placed it to our storage facilities. Russians should take it out from there, or we will find some option for using this oil. As far as I believe, this epic story is coming to its end in Belarus, while it continues in Europe,Ф Lukashenko said.
The problem with the quality of oil coming from Russia to Europe across Belarus via the Druzhba pipeline appeared in mid-April. As oil contaminated with chlorides moved through the pipes, Poland stopped receiving the black gold from Druzhba on April 24, and Ukraine on April 25. Good-quality oil started coming from Russia to Belarus on May 2.
The operator of the Belarusian sector of the Druzhba pipeline, Gomeltransneft Druzhba, is ready to increase the volume of Russian oil transit and has notified Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft of this intention, Belarusian state oil company Belneftekhim said.
Belneftekhim CEO Andrei Rybakov said on May 11 that the Mozyr refinery was to be fully cleared of chlorides-contaminated Russian oil by May 12.
Belneftekhim also said that oil coming from Russia was now in full compliance with state standards.
The Russian Energy Ministry said that Russian oil fully complying with quality standards was already being loaded into tankers for exports at the port of Ust-Luga.
Ukrainian company Ukrtransnafta said it resumed oil transit to Europe via the Druzhba pipeline.