Dirty oil “Friendship” pipes in the European Union: problems are growing, there is no solution

Грязная нефть "Дружбы" в трубах ЕС: проблемы нарастают, решения нет

The main export oil pipeline Russia and in the port of Ust-Luga could reach 5 million tonnes of contaminated raw materials. Pipe does not work the second week, EU print reserves.

Is second week full stop the pipeline “Friendship” because of the ingress of contaminated Russian oil. By the end of the first week, may 2, came two iconic messages. One is that in Belarus began to do “clean”, conditioned oil from Russia. The other of a decision of the Polish government to print of the oil reserves of the country and provide the Polish refineries (refinery) 800 thousand tons to compensate for a short supply from Russia.

How much dirty oil is in the pipes in Eastern Europe?

These two reports suggests that on the territory of Russia and the near abroad of the Russian state company “Transneft”, it seems, achieved the first success in the aftermath of the largest man-made disaster in its history, but in foreign countries the problems continue to grow. After all, to use their strategic oil reserves also had the governments of Hungary (it has allocated 400 thousand tons) and the Czech Republic.

Reuters claims that the pipeline system “Druzhba” could get about 5 million tons, or approximately 37 million barrels of oil contaminated with organic chlorides. Oil companies use them to increase the production from the depleting fields, but then must be separated from the final product.

Reuters called the figure comparable to the monthly capacity of the pipeline. The Russian side does not publish its own data. In any case, it is clear that very large volumes of crude oil are now lying dormant in the pipes throughout Eastern and Central Europe (Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, to Germany, they have not reached), and while it is not clear what to do with them and who will pay for the necessary work.

The priority of Moscow and Minsk: the Mozyr oil refinery

Moscow and Minsk are first focused on cleaning the stretch of the Druzhba pipeline from the Russian town of Unecha to the Belarusian Mozyr and the resumption of deliveries of certified oil to the Mozyr oil refinery is one of two refineries in the country (the other is located in Novopolotsk). For Belarus it is essential that it could as fast as you can again operate at full capacity: the export of gasoline and other oil products gives it the lion’s share of foreign exchange earnings.

Another priority for Moscow was the speedy cleaning of the pipeline from Unecha on the Russian territory to the Baltic port of Ust-Luga in the Leningrad region. This is an offshoot of the “Friendship” worked in 2012 and received the name the Baltic pipeline system-2 (BPS-2). The pipeline is laid in order to avoid the need to export oil by sea through foreign ports (in Lithuania and Latvia). From Ust-Luga tankers leave in the different EU countries, but above all in the Netherlands.

The BPS-2 also proved to be contaminated. According to Reuters (and other Western agencies are not yet very interested in the problems of the oil pipeline “Druzhba”), the world’s largest oil trader, Swiss-Dutch company Vitol at the end of April, refused to accept the oil from Ust-Luga, after a Russian port was closed on the day. But then work resumed.

What quality of oil in tankers from Ust-Luga?

Reuters claims that since the discovery of heavy contamination of Russian oil (instead of the maximum allowed 10 units concentration of chloride fluctuated in the range of 80-330 units) Ust-Luga left at least 10 tankers.

Actual proof, that this port was going to go and continue the delivery of nonconforming raw materials, is the message of the Ministry of energy of the Russian Federation from April 29, which quotes Agency “Interfax”: “the Normalization of the qualitative characteristics of oil flowing into the port of Ust-Luga is scheduled for 7 may.” However, it may well be that export facility for dirty oil diluted net reservoir.

This is the kind of technology the company “Transneft” resorts in Novorossiysk, the head of the company Nikolay Tokarev told Russian President Vladimir Putin on 30 April (quoted by the official Kremlin website): “Additionally, the railroad is assisting in the removal of non-conforming oil from the territory of Belarus, then we will compoundrelated, that is, to mix with normal oil in Novorossiysk and then to implement it”.

Two oil refineries in Eastern Germany cut off from supplies

Again, we are talking only about Belarus. And what happens to dirty oil in Ukraine and EU countries, first of all, in Poland? After all, until you clear the Polish section of the “Friendship” and it is about 700 kilometers, this pipeline cannot be used for deliveries to Germany, and it is the third largest buyer of Russian oil.

As reported by the Reuters Agency on 3 may, citing oil traders, refinery of the French Total group in the East German town of Leuna, in the processing day, 240 000 barrels of Russian oil, has reportedly cut production by 30 percent. The concern while abstains from comments, did not react, he on the request of DW, which can partly be explained with the strict rules publish important messages of the exchange companies.

However, if one of the major European factories of the group Total, indeed, became irregular, long silent about it, again because of the strict rules of notification of the shareholders, can not, and should act with an official statement.

In turn, the press service of the PCK in Schwedt, the second East German refineries that depend on supply of “Friendship”, April 26 announced that this plant was working only one-third of its capacity due to planned maintenance, there are reserves of oil for ten days. It turns out that in the near future they will be spent.

Will have to swing substandard raw materials reverse to Belarus?

Association of enterprises of oil-refining industry (MWV) on may 2 made clear that two of its members have already started deliveries of oil by sea. It, presumably, goes on imports through the German port of Rostock, connected by pipes with refineries in Schwedt and Leuna. However, the oil could pump and from the Polish port of Gdansk, which in Plock near Warsaw is connected by a pipe with the “Friendship”.

The only question is how far the dirty oil went to the West on the Polish section of “Friendship”. If she approached the border of Germany, you will first need to clean the section Plock-Schwedt. But how? Reuters writes that have already considered the option of extruding non-conforming raw materials to reverse, back to Belarus, where “Transneft” it was taken would be in rail tank cars in the same Novorossiysk.

But this would mean the cessation of Russian exports “Friendship” to Poland and Germany for many months and due to low speed of movement of oil, and due to the limited number of wagons in Russia, especially if we are really talking about 5 million tons. And the loss for many months such an important transport channel can not entail a revision of the Russian export and macroeconomic forecasts to 2019. And can be a serious blow to a weakened economy as a transit country Belarus.

So we can assume that in the near future the flow of information about problems in the European Union, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine pollution and stop of “Druzhba” pipeline, will increase dramatically.

Грязная нефть "Дружбы" в трубах ЕС: проблемы нарастают, решения нет

Грязная нефть "Дружбы" в трубах ЕС: проблемы нарастают, решения нет

Грязная нефть "Дружбы" в трубах ЕС: проблемы нарастают, решения нет

Грязная нефть "Дружбы" в трубах ЕС: проблемы нарастают, решения нет

Грязная нефть "Дружбы" в трубах ЕС: проблемы нарастают, решения нет