April 26, 2019 / 9:07 PM / a month ago

Czech Unipetrol asks government to loan crude oil: reserves chief

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech oil refiner Unipetrol has asked the government to loan the firm crude oil from state reserves due to a halt in supplies via the Druzhba pipeline from Russia, the state reserves chief Pavel Svagr said on Friday.

“I received email with a working version of a letter in which Unipetrol describes the situation...and is asking for a loan from emergency reserves,” he said on Czech Television.

The Czech Republic stopped receiving Russian crude oil shipments via the Druzhba pipeline as a supply problem caused by contaminated oil in the pipeline spread.

Svagr said he expected to discuss amounts of oil that may be provided to Unipetrol at a meeting on Monday. He said the loan, which would have to be approved by the government, would allow Unipetrol’s Litvinov refinery to continue uninterrupted operation.

He said regular crude could reach Belarus again next week and the situation may be normalized around May 10-15.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka

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