Oil flows on Atyrau-Samara pipeline continue, Kazakh official says

Oil loadings on a key export pipeline between Kazakhstan and Russia continue despite disruptions to flows via Russia from contaminated oil, Kazakhstan’s deputy energy minister Magzum Mirzagaliyev said.

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 Sea port of Ust-Luga and on to other European countries.

On Friday Reuters reported that Kazakhstan plans to seek compensation from Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft after Kazakh oil flowing via Russia – to be loaded on tankers at Ust-Luga – was found to have been contaminated.

Loadings on a major pipeline between Kazakhstan’s Atyrau and Russia’s Samara continue, however, Mirzagaliyev told reporters on Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday of top OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

In April, Kazakhstan’s state oil pipeline operator Kaztransoil said the chloride content of the Kazakh crude supplied to Samara was within industry standards.

Evaluating the damage is expected to take some time, the deputy minister said.

“There has been no summing up yet. It’s a question of (complaints) which will be discussed by Kaztransoil and Transneft,” Mirzagaliyev said.

“It’s clear that there will be no decision reached in the near future. We have to work for some time with Transneft to understand what volumes (of oil) we had and if we had any volumes that suffered damage,” he said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters on Thursday that Transneft will compensate all parties for losses incurred from contaminated oil if they can prove they incurred damages.