30 Oct 2009 16:17

Ukraine says Lukoil to pump oil to Odessa refinery via Belarus

KYIV. Oct 28 (Interfax) - Russia's Lukoil and pipeline operator Transneft have agreed to pump oil to the Odessa refinery in Ukraine from the Belarusian state border via Brody until the end of this year, Fent Di, spokesman for the Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry told Interfax.

"According to my information, oil will be pumped to the Odessa refinery using the Belarusian and Ukrainians sections of the Druzhba trunk pipeline," the spokesman said.

Ukrainian pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta had proposed this route.

Lukoil and Transneft are not commenting on the information.

Lukoil has suspended operations at its Odessa refinery in Ukraine due to the actions of Ukrtransnafta, which stopped pumping oil along the Lisichansk - Kremenchug - Odessa route on October 1.

It was said that alternative oil delivery routes being proposed by Ukrtransnafta would substantially raise the cost of the oil and render the Odessa refinery unprofitable. Moreover, Transneft does not have the technical ability to deliver oil to the Odessa refinery on other routes in October this year.

At the same time, Ukrtransnafta has placed the blame for the stoppage in oil refinement at the facility on both Lukoil and Transneft. The Ukrainian company said that the main aim of this stoppage is to disrupt the flow of Caspian oil to the Kremenchug refinery.