OREANDA-NEWSCleaning the Druzhba export oil pipeline will take at least eight months, only after it can reach its usual capacity, Gomeltransneft Druzhba’s chief engineer Andrei Verigo told the Vestnik Belneftekhim magazine. “Even according to Russian experts, it will take at least eight months to clean the pipelines of Transneft. Only after this, the Druzhba system will be able to reach its usual capacity”, he said.

In the coming year, "the pipeline will run halfway", Verigo added. According to him, “Gomeltransneft Druzhba” after the incident with the supply of polluted oil from the Russian Federation will improve approaches to the safe transportation of raw materials. “In general, approaches to security remain the same, we are simply improving them to increase the speed of response to abnormal circumstances,” he explained. “We must create a new level of security in which situations like the April situation will be fundamentally excluded”.

Verigo recalled that on April 19, after finding a batch of oil with modified characteristics, Minsk notified Moscow and the other partners. “But Russia didn't stop pumping oil, European operators also didn’t immediately appreciate the scale of the onset of the tragedy and possible consequences. That is, the information system was worked out clearly, and the response system failed”, he said. This had a negative impact on the equipment of oil refineries and led to a long downtime of the pipeline system.

“The case is unprecedented, the economies of a number of states have suffered enormous damage”, Verigo stressed. In his opinion, henceforth, the actions of the operator in such cases should be simple and understandable - stopping transportation. “This is a safety issue for the entire transnational system. The pumping of contaminated oil lasted for five days, and we will drive it out for two months, since the maximum reverse flow rate is four times lower than usual”, he noted.