JASIONKA, Poland (Reuters) - Poland’s pipeline operator PERN expects that its system will be completely cleared of contaminated Russian oil by July 2020, its Chief Executive Igor Wasilewski said on Monday.
Buyers including Polish state-run refiners PKN Orlen and Lotos discovered in April that supplies of Russian crude had been contaminated with organic chloride, a chemical used in oil recovery that can damage refining equipment.
PERN halted Russian oil imports via the Druzhba pipeline after the contamination was detected. Flows were partially restarted in June.
“A few weeks ago I was an optimist and I thought that removing the chlorided oil from the system would take half a year,” Wasilewski told reporters.
“Now I know that PKN Orlen and Lotos are checking how their refineries behave and carefully blending the Russian oil. I think that we will finally get rid of this oil from PERN’s stores in July 2020 at the earliest.”
Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; Writing by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Jan Harvey