Pipeline upturn by Ukraine and Belarus could hamper Europe oil supply

Reuters reported that Ukraine and Belarus' reversal of oil flows along part of the Europe bound Druzhba pipeline will prevent Russia from increasing crude deliveries to Eastern Europe.

Mr Igor Demin the spokesman for Russia pipeline monopoly, Transneft said "The southern Druzhba pipeline is running at maximum capacity so it is technically impossible for any party to increase supplies."

He said that "The November pumping schedule was not that intensive, but we now won't be able to jam even one more bucket of oil through. It's obvious that if, God forbid, something happens to the pipeline, everything would stop."

The southern spur of the giant Druzhba pipeline runs from Russia to Ukraine and onward to Europe via southern Belarus and consists of two parallel pipelines both of which Russia has traditionally used to transport its Urals URL-E crude. But Belarus which cut down on Russian oil imports after a pricing dispute in January, struck a deal with Ukraine in October to reverse flows to run West East along one of the pipelines to supply its Mozyr refinery with crude from the Black Sea.

The decision to reverse flows along one of the twin pipelines means Russia, currently pumping 17.5 million tonnes along one of the twin lines, or the maximum load limit has no wriggle room to increase volumes if demand rises in Europe.

(Sourced from Reuters)


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