GomelTransNeft Druzhba, the Belarusian operating company of the Druzhba oil pipeline, is in consultation with the state-owned Belneftekhim concern regarding the construction of new oil quality and quantity control points, announced Andrey Verigo, chief engineer of the operating company, as cited by BelTa.
According to him, such a control node could be established on Belarus’s eastern border in 2021, and would help to ensure the safe operation of the Belarusian stretch of the pipeline and monitor the quality of the arriving oil.
“Unfortunately, the trust principle of working with partners doesn’t always pay off. If such a node had been established for the oil being received into the country, the possibility of the April incident would have been excluded,” Verigo told the press.
In April, Belneftekhim detected a decline in the quality of the oil arriving from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline. There was a sharp spike in the organochloride content of the oil. As a result, oil transit to Poland, Germany, Czechia, Hungary and other countries had to be temporarily suspended until the pipeline could be cleaned.
Minsk’s losses as a result of the incident are estimated at $20 million. To compensate, Belarus is hiking its oil transit tariff by 3.7% as of September 1. A criminal case has been initiated against 13 people in Russia in connection with the contamination of the oil.
At the end of July, the Russian state-owned oil transport monopoly Transneft announced that it was prepared to pay $15 per barrel in compensation to the companies affected by the contamination, no more than $500 million in total. The affected companies include Rosneft, Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Bashneft, Tatneft, Surgutneftegaz and KazTransOil.