Clean Russian oil that meets the technical standards is expected to reach the Mozyr oil refinery in Belarus on May 2-3, Russia’s energy ministry informed the media on Monday evening.
Problems with quality started on 19 April.
“The clean oil arrived at Unecha line operation dispatcher station at 12 pm and reached the border with Belarus at around 5 pm,” the Russian ministry said. The quality of oil coming to the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga is expected to be back to normal on May 7, it added.
Considering the speed and traffic schedule, as well as the distance from Unecha to the border, the arrival of the clean product on the Belarusian territory is expected late on 2 May, and at the Mozyr refinery no earlier than 4 May, the Belarusian side claimed on Tuesday, 30 April.
The Ministry of Energy, together with Transneft, Russian Railways and oil companies, agreed on a set of measures to normalize the supply through the Druzhba pipeline on Friday, 26 April.
Bad oil timeline
On 19 April, Belarus state oil company Belneftekhim announced a “sharp deterioration” of the quality of the Russian oil transiting through the Druzhba pipeline. The Russian side acknowledged the problem and expressed the hope that “the situation with quality should be normalized by Monday-Tuesday of the next week.”
On 22 April, the Mozyr refinery declared that poor-quality Russian oil led to the failure of expensive equipment.
On 23 April, Belarus suspended the export of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic countries. Belneftekhim stated that the polluted product had reached Europe and Ukraine.
On 24 April, the Belarusian refinery Naftan reported the renewal of quality oil pumping along the northern branch of the pipeline. At the Mozyr refinery, the situation remains unchanged.
Poland halted imports of Russian oil on 25 April, Ukraine – on 26 April.
A criminal case has been started in Russia to investigate the causes.
Months to fix the consequences
The measures taken by Russia will allow restoring the operation of only one line of the Druzhba pipeline. Full restoration of the operation will require several months of hard work, Belneftekhim said in a statement on Tuesday, 30 April.
“The settlement of the situation continues.
Today, negotiations between representatives of the Belneftekhim concern and Russian oil and oil transport companies are being held again at the Ministry of Energy Russia,” the message says.