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Energy 27 May, 2019 10:00 am   

The plan to clean up oil from Russia targeted by disinformation


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The plan to mix up dirty oil from Russia is in question. However, this is not the responsibility of the Germans or Poles, but only Russians, whose foul oil locks the Druzhba oil pipeline. Something else is suggested by the Russian media. Talks on this topic took take place last Friday in Warsaw – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.

Reuters learned unofficially why German refineries did not decide to mix polluted oil from Russia. The attempt to process the “rotten” oil had to be stopped because of threat of damage to the infrastructure.

The Reuters Agency determined that the Leuna Totalu refinery attempted to mix the foul oil with other blends in accordance with the plan negotiated with the participation of German, Polish and Russian refineries responsible for deliveries via the Druzhba oil pipeline. The Leuna refinery, however, had to stop the work of part of its infrastructure due to a fault in the equipment used to mix the contaminated raw material from Russia.

Disconnecting this infrastructure may take up to a week and will make impossible to implement the plan proposed in negotiations with the Russians. – The plan has collapsed. Someone needs to present a plan B – said the Reuters interviewee from the industry.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy of Russia quoted in the Polish language version of Sputnik convinces that it has taken all measures to restore deliveries by Druzhba. Of course, it does not mention Leuny’s problems. – Negotiations with the Polish side are ongoing regarding the resumption of standard oil transfer towards the Adamowo-Zastawa measurement node, while the Russian side has implemented a number of measures necessary for the resumption of the transmission as soon as possible – we read in the propaganda media outlet Sputnik.

The title of the publication is: “Russia has implemented measures aiming to reactivate oil transfer to Poland”, read: everyone is waiting for unruly Poland. Next is the suggestion that, apart from being unruly, the Poles also have a problem with greediness. “Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters that the Polish and Russian sides are talking about the amount of polluted oil that Poland will have to collect from Druzhba to its refineries. The Polish side had questions about the costs of raw material that did not comply with the standard. “These are natural questions, we do not dramatize this story” – said Kozak quoted by Sputnik.

The unofficial information of Wiedomosti has the same purport. According to the daily, the reason for Poland’s lack of consent to start delivering oil by Druzhba is the lack of agreement on the delivery parameters proposed by the Russians. The newspaper suggests, however, that the reason could be the fight for financial compensation.

Thus, the Russian media suggests that Poles are blocking the agreement on low motives. In addition to the fact that compensation is a natural payment in the current situation, Leuny’s problems suggest the opposite. On Thursday, May 23, negotiations were continued on this matter. My independent sources confirmed that the negotiations did not bring the solution suggested in the Russian media. Reuters’s information would be just another confirmation that the Russian supplier, after losing credibility, does not try to regain it, but plays – also in the information sphere – to the disadvantage of its customers.

Disappointment was evident in the statement of the president of PKN Orlen, Daniel Obajtek, reported by BiznesAlert.pl. When we asked him whether Orlen uses contaminated crude oil in refineries, he said yes, but to a limited extent. – We do it in a safe way so as not to harm our installations. We must fight for our rights and the safety of our refineries – he emphasized. The Polish company does not want to experience a fault in the Płock Refinery as it was in the Total rafinery. – The most important thing is to get along and sign an agreement, and then to estimate the losses we have suffered – said President Obajtek.

The agreement is needed in the short-term. The best long-term answer to the above problems is further diversification. In this context, the plans of Saudi Aramco, which wants to process oil in European refineries and throw on the Old Continent the challenge of competition, in the first place Russia, are interesting. PKN Orlen, especially after the merger with the Lotos Group, may become an important partner of Aramco’s plans in Europe.