Argus Media Limited

11/17/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2021 09:14

Urals supplies by Druzhba to Poland restricted: Update

Adds comment of Belarusian pipeline operator in paragraph 3

Maintenance on the Belarusian section of the Druzhba oil pipeline system has limited the flow of Urals crude to Poland, but the work will not impact the schedule for November shipments, according to Russian pipeline operator Transneft.

But while Transneft said the work was unplanned, the operator of the Belarus section of the pipeline, Gomeltransneft, said it was scheduled work.

"Starting from yesterday, Gomeltransneft has started an unplanned maintenance at one of the lines of the Druzhba pipeline, having restricted [crude] pumping towards Adamowa Zastawa [in Poland] tentatively for three days, but the plan for the month is not revised," a Transneft spokesman said today.

Gomeltransneft confirmed the start date of maintenance, but said it was a planned event to replace a valve at crude pumping station at Gomel. Crude flow in the pipeline section from Gomel via the Mozyr refinery to the border with Poland is "partially limited by 7pc", Gomeltransneft said. The works are scheduled for 48 hours, but it will take three days to restore crude flows to Poland to previous levels, the firm said. It confirmed that the November crude shipment schedule for this route has not been revised.

Druzhba, one of the world's biggest crude pipeline networks, carries Russian crude to Mozyr in Belarus, where it splits into a northern branch to Poland and Germany and a southern branch through Ukraine to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Urals exports to central Europe through the Druzhba system are scheduled at 747,000 b/d (3.12mn t) this month, 5pc lower than October. The November schedule includes around 127,000 b/d to Poland, down by 10pc on the month.

The maintenance coincides with rising tensions between Belarus and the EU over the migrant crisis at the Belarusian-Polish border. Earlier this week, EU foreign ministers agreed to expand sanctions against Belarus. The country's president, Alexander Lukashenko, has threatened to halt the transit of Russian gas to Europe if new sanctions are implemented.

By Anastasia Krasinskaya