Namely, last month the refiner Belneftekhim reported high levels of organic chlorides in shipments from the Druzhba line. These substances can damage refinery process equipment, with their acceptable levels being at only around 10 parts per million or less.
Organic chlorides are usually introduced during oil extraction or transportation and Russian authorities suspect that the contamination took place when several companies transferred oil "using organochlorine compounds in volumes higher than the norm. Due to this issue, four people were detained and criminal proceedings have started.
Now, the Port of Ust-Luga has already received a portion of the contaminated shipments, which affected it. In fact, sources report that only this week it resumed to loading uncontaminated cargoes. As a result, its oil is trading at a steep discount, Reuters reports.
Russia is currently analyzing the economic damage from the incident and expects to be aware of the full extent within three to four weeks.
In order for owners to dispose the contaminated oil the can:
- Diluted it with clean crude, adding it gradually into the refining process;
- Burn it by power plants to generate electricity.