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Transneft reports new Druzhba oil pipeline contamination discovery

Moscow — Russian pipeline operator Transneft has said that deliveries of crude to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline were temporarily halted on Wednesday evening, when excess levels of organic chlorides were detected.

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The halt comes after a similar contamination caused Poland to halt deliveries via the route between mid-April and June 9.

"On June 19, at 20:17, transit via the Mozyr-Adamowo line to Poland was halted, based on the results of a spot check, which showed levels of organic chlorides at 60 ppm," a Transneft spokesman said Thursday.

Central European oil supply pipeline

Poland decided to resume loading at around 08:00 am Thursday, based on analysis of the combined daily sample for Wednesday. Pumping resumed at 08:37 am, Transneft said.

"According to our Belarusian colleagues, the probable reason for the short-term increase in the concentration of organic chlorides was the automatic activation of the drainage reservoir pumping system at Kobrin in Belarus from 14:00 at a volume of 20 cu m to the Mozyr-Adamowo Zastawa pipeline," Transneft said.

Results of spot tests taken at 18:00 at Adamowo Zastawa were already back down to 4 ppm.

Transneft said previously that deliveries to Poland resumed on June 9, and German refineries reported that they were receiving clean crude via the route through Poland on June 17.

According to the Russian pipeline operator organic chlorides above a level of 1.5 ppm have not been detected in the Unecha-Mozyr stretch of the network linking Russia and Belarus in June. Shipments of crude between Unecha and Mozyr were unaffected during the temporary halt in deliveries to Poland.

-- Rosemary Griffin, rosemary.griffin@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Andy Critchlow, newsdesk@spglobal.com