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Full resumption of Russian oil transit via Belarus possible by late July

Full resumption of Russian oil transit via Belarus possible by late July

Minsk, May 23 - Neftegaz.RU.
It may be possible to resume the transit of Russian oil via Belarus via the Druzhba pipeline system in full by the end of July. In May the transit figure will be less than 7% of the target, BelTa learned from Chairman of the Belarusian Belneftekhim Andrei Rybakov.

The official said: “Unfortunately, there is still a considerable amount of oil, which doesn't meet the organic chloride standard, in Belarus. About 1.2 million tonnes. It prevents our oil refineries from operating at full capacity in addition to preventing oil transit along the pipeline. One can say we will secure less than 7% of the transit figure we intended to hit in May.”

Mozyr Oil Refinery is now operating at its designed capacity. Naftan's workload is only 65%. In his words, the Belarusian-Russian roadmap on replacing polluted Russian oil in Belarus with clean oil has to be implemented by the end of July at the latest.

“The entire roadmap has to be implemented by the end of July 2019. It is the deadline. There are technical ways to accelerate the process but we should keep in mind that the [reverse pumping] operation is far from standard, this is why we are approaching it with a certain degree of caution,” Andrei Rybakov said.

In his words, circumstances permitting, the implementation of the measures may be expedited but not by much. In any case the Belarusian side will do its best to resolve the problem within a shorter period of time, the Belneftekhim head promised. The implementation of the roadmap assumes that there will be no oil with increased concentration of organic chlorides in Belarus at the end of July.

“Respectively, we will be completely free to deliver raw materials to our oil refineries and will have the full capability to enable transit flow,” the Belneftekhim head explained.

Andrei Rybakov pointed out that the roadmap contains purely technical measures. It specifies ways to remove poor-quality oil from Belarus' territory, including in reverse mode.

“Specialists from both sides have taken care of the technical things. The implementation of the roadmap is actually in progress,” he said.