11 Jun 2019 14:53

Transneft is hoping for out-of-court settlement of claims due to Druzhba incident

MOSCOW. June 11 (Interfax) - Transneft has on numerous occasions confirmed its readiness to settle out of court with cargo dispatchers in accordance with contracts concluded for transport of oil following the Druzhba pipeline incident, the company said in a presentation. Transneft, jointly with the Energy Ministry, has proposed a mechanism for payments to cargo dispatchers consistent with contract concluded and with law, the company said.

A compensation mechanism for cargo dispatchers has been proposed and "is now being studied by our contractors," Rashid Sharipov, a Transneft vice president, said on a conference call. He confirmed statements by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who said "we will likely require 2-3 months, when the consolidated proposals are made for settlement of the incident, and they can be implemented."

As reported, on April 18, oil with elevated levels of organic chloride compounds was discovered at the Mozyr Refinery in Belarus. The source of the contamination was an oil delivery point in Russia's Samara Region. The incident did not result in harm or injury to anyone and did not damage to the environment, Transneft said.

Oil shipments via the Druzhba pipeline have resumed along all delivery tracks beginning on June 9.

A road map has currently been drawn up and coordinated with partners (transport operators from Belarus, Ukraine and Eastern European countries) containing measures for the removal of oil with elevated levels of organic chloride compounds and its replacement with oil compliant with state standards and those of the Druzhba pipeline, the company said.

Furthermore a Russian-Belarusian working group has been created, as well as a working group under the auspices of the Energy Ministry to address the fallout from the incident. Monitoring of the organic chloride content of oil is now being carried out on a daily basis.

Law enforcement is conducting an investigation into the incident.

Oil with elevated organic chloride compound content is currently being replaced by oil compliant with state standards in the Druzhba pipeline, including in Belarusian territory.