Russian Crude Oil Transfers Through the Druzhba Pipeline Expected to Resume Shortly

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Russian Crude Oil Transfers Through the Druzhba Pipeline Expected to Resume Shortly

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As reported in these pages last month, a contaminant in Russian crude supplies to Europe brought crude deliveries on 22 April via the Russian Druzhba pipeline to a screeching halt.

Two German refineries -- PCK's Schwedt and Total's Leuna plants -- lie toward the end of the northern branch of the 1 million barrels / day Druzhba crude pipeline from Russia.

While flows via Belarus have now resumed, Polish pipeline operator PERN said on Thursday that supplies of clean Russian oil on the route could restart June 9 at the earliest. Russian crude flows from eastern Poland are then expected to take another two to three weeks to reach Germany.

Germany maintains that security of supply in the country has not been affected. And there has been no need thus far to tap into Germany's vast strategic oil reserves. Nonetheless German authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

A spokesman for Germany's oil industry association MWV said both the PCK and Leuna refineries are running at reduced capacity levels and are processing crude supplied by tankers to Baltic Sea ports. For example, the crude shipped to the Baltic Sea port of Rostock, which is connected to the plants via pipeline. Seaborne crude imports can also be supplied to Germany via Poland's Gdansk port through the northern section of the Druzhba pipeline.

Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary have not been as fortunate, as the Russian outage has forced all three countries to release emergency oil stocks.


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