The investigation has revealed a group of companies that delivered contaminated oil to the Druzhba pipeline, four people have been detained in the case, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said at a government meeting, ONA reports citing TASS.
"The investigation has revealed a group of companies that transferred standard oil using organochlorine compounds in volumes excessing the norm. The inspection documents have now been handed over to the prosecutor’s office, a set of operational measures, investigative actions of the FSB of Russia, the Investigation Committee of Russia are being held, criminal proceedings have been initiated under articles 158, 210 and 215.2. Four people were detained and placed in jail by a court decision," Novak said.
The Minister noted that, by the order of the Prime Minister, an interdepartmental commission was established to investigate the oil contamination incident.
"As a result of the inspection, a source of oil contamination has been identified - this is the Lopatino metering unit in the Samara region," he said.
Druzhba pipeline incident
On April 19, Belarusian concern Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration of the quality of the Russian oil running through the Druzhba oil pipeline and subsequently informed pipeline operators from other countries about the situation. The content of organochloride compounds in oil was dozens of times above the limit value, the company said.
Both Belarusian refineries - the Mozyr refinery (Gomel region) and Naftan (Vitebsk region) - reported the risk of equipment facing damage and almost halved the refining volumes.
On April 23, Belarus was forced to halt exports of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries due to deliveries of poor quality oil.
Poland, Germany, Ukraine and Slovakia suspended crude oil supplies from Russia through the Druzhba oil pipeline. The pollutant was revealed at the Samara-Unecha section. Russia’s Energy Ministry referred to technical issues as the reason for the contamination of the oil, saying that the problem would be ironed out quickly.