Russia, Poland successfully resolve dispute over oil transit problem

(MENAFN) Russia and Poland have successfully resolved a dispute over the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline that threatened to halt the flow of Kazakh oil to Germany in June, as reported by Reuters on Friday. The resolution ensures the uninterrupted supply of oil and mitigates potential disruptions amid ongoing geopolitical tensions.

The conflict arose due to equipment certification problems encountered by Poland’s state-owned pipeline operator, PERN. These issues were compounded by concerns that maintaining Russian flow meters could breach European Union sanctions imposed on Russia due to the Ukraine conflict. The pipeline segment in question traverses Belarus and Poland, and has been facilitating the transport of Kazakh oil to Germany since December of the previous year. Given that the majority of Kazakhstan's oil exports pass through Russian territory, the certification impasse posed a significant risk to the supply chain.

In April, Transneft, a state-owned Russian company, had cautioned Kazakhstan about the potential cessation of oil transit in June, citing the unresolved certification issues. The Polish operator, PERN, expressed apprehension that servicing the Russian flow meters might lead to non-compliance with European Union sanctions against Russia.

The breakthrough came when Transneft and Germany’s PCK Schwedt refinery agreed that a Slovak company would undertake the metering servicing for the Polish segment of the pipeline. This agreement effectively circumvented the sanctions-related concerns and ensured the continuity of oil transit.

Kazakhstan’s state oil company, KazMunayGaz, announced on Tuesday that it had extended its supply contract with its German customer until the end of the year. The extension anticipates that exports will reach 1.2 million metric tons in 2024.

The Druzhba pipeline, constructed in the 1960s, spans 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) and connects oil suppliers in Russia and Kazakhstan with consumers across Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany. This infrastructure is crucial for the energy security and economic stability of the region, highlighting the significance of the recent resolution between Russian and Polish operators.



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