April 26, 2019 / 4:05 PM / 10 months ago

Hungary's MOL stops accepting oil through Druzhba pipeline

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian energy group MOL has temporarily suspended accepting crude oil through the Druzhba pipeline, it said on Friday, adding, however, that the move did not affect its refineries.

“Thus far the quality of the crude oil coming through the pipeline has been in accordance with the regulations, however we have decided to temporarily suspend the takeover of the crude oil,” it said in an email.

Poland, Germany and Slovakia have suspended imports of Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline, citing poor quality and triggering a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest crude exporter.

The quality problem arose last week when an unknown Russian producer contaminated oil with high levels of organic chloride, which is used to boost oil output but must be separated before shipment as it can destroy refining equipment.

“Contaminated crude oil cannot enter our refinery,” MOL said. “The suspension does not impact the operation of MOL’s refineries, since we can supply them through the Adria Oil Pipeline as well as from our already existing supplies.”

MOL added that it was in talks with relevant authorities and international partners to get crude oil transport back to normal as soon as possible.

Reporting by Marton Dunai and Gergely Szakacs, editing by Louise Heavens/David Evans

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