A Shell oil refinery in Germany has halted imports via the Russian Druzhba pipeline because of slightly higher concentration of organic chlorine found in the crude, Reuters reported citing a Shell spokesman.
The statement comes just weeks after Russia said it had fully resumed oil flows to Europe via the pipeline after a major disruption in supplies due to crude contamination in April.
At the end of April, Russia halted supplies via the Druzhba oil pipeline to several European countries due to a contamination issue, which the Russians said was deliberate.
The oil was contaminated with organic chlorine, a substance used in oil production to boost output but dangerous in high amounts for refining equipment. The amounts of the chemical were found to be at levels much higher than the maximum allowable amount.
Shell’s refinery PCK in Schwedt, eastern Germany, has stopped importing Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline again, the company spokesman told Germany daily Handelsblatt on Saturday, just two weeks after normal supply of oil from Russia resumed to the refineries in Schwedt and Leuna in eastern Germany.
The PCK refinery is in contact with suppliers and pipeline operators to clarify what the cause of the higher organic chlorine level is and how to remedy the situation, Shell’s spokesman told the newspaper.
The refinery continues to operate as alternative crude supply has been sourced from the port of Rostock, the spokesman said.
The Russian oil supply contamination seriously disrupted the refinery operations of some companies in May. Total, for example, halted some of the units at its 230,000-bpd Leuna refinery in Germany to conduct technical checks.