Total halts German refinery units for checks on contaminated Russian crude

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is seen at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie, near Paris, France. May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French oil and gas major Total said on Friday that it had suspended operations at some units of the 230,000 barrel-per-day Leuna refinery in Germany for technical checks following the prolonged situation of contaminated Russian crude supply.

Total said it was carrying out the checks to manage any long-term supply complications due to the contaminated Russian crude.

“It is expected that operations will resume as early as Saturday, using alternative supply via Gdansk (in Poland),” the company said in a statement.

“With the continuing problems in connection with the Druzhba pipeline, the capacity of the refinery will remain limited,” it said, adding that efforts would be made to limit the effect on the supply of petrol, diesel and heating oil to clients.

Total declined to give details of the units that were halted. Industry monitor Genscape said earlier on Friday that the 112,000 bpd vacuum distillation unit at the refinery was one of the units that was halted.

Russia’s oil export flows have been disrupted since April when high levels of organic chloride were found in crude pumped via the Druzhba pipeline to the Baltic port of Ust-Luga and other European countries.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Gus Trompiz and Leigh Thomas