Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is removing 100 kilotonnes of tainted Russian crude from the Druzhba pipeline and putting it in storage, MOL has told MTI. The crude will be treated and mixed with clean oil to make it usable in future, MOL said. The crude is being removed to accelerate the start of deliveries of clean oil through the pipeline, MOL said, adding that other oil companies affected by the matter are taking similar measures.
A number of refineries in Europe suspended oil imports via the Druzhba, or “Friendship”, pipeline on April 19, after it was found to contain high levels of organic chloride, a material used to boost oil output which must be separated before shipment as it can destroy refining equipment.
An agreement was reached early in May by representatives of Russia’s energy ministry and energy companies MOL, Slovnaft, Transneft, Transpetrol and UkrTransNafta on resuming deliveries via the pipeline by the middle of May.
Hungary’s government has sanctioned the partial release of national strategic oil reserves to supply MOL’s refinery in Százhalombatta, south of Budapest, for a period up to two months.