Contaminated Russian oil will continue to flow to Slovakia and Hungary for at least another four to six months. Oil company Transneft confirmed that oil producing firms were to blame for the recent contamination and that there is no quick fix to the problem.
The quality problem arose in April when high levels of organic chloride were found in crude pumped via the Druzhba pipeline to the Baltic port of Ust-Luga. According to Transneft, organic chloride, which is used in high viscosity oil extraction, could only appear in pipelines where oil was provided by oil companies as Transneft does not inject it into the system.
Ukrainian oil company Ukrtransnafta has resumed transfers to European clients via the Druzhba pipeline’s southern leg to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, saying that Russian oil being pumped towards Slovakia and Hungary will stay contaminated for four to six months as transit countries begin to evaluate losses from oil flow suspensions to Europe.