Druzhba receiving station south of Budapest: payment problems
Photo: Zsolt Szigetvary/ EPA/ DPA
Hungarian oil company MOL has announced that it will pay transit fees to resume Russian oil supplies through the southern branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline.
The fee due for Ukraine's use of the pipeline has been paid, the company said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
The group also spoke of negotiations that had been held with representatives of Russia and Ukraine.
According to Russian information, the transit of Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline to Hungary had previously been stopped.
The Russian pipeline monopolist Transneft blamed Ukraine for the delivery stop, according to information released on Tuesday: »In fact, (the Ukrainian company) Ukrtransnafta changed the pumping of oil to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline on August 4 stopped completely at 6:10 a.m.«.
The spokesman for Slovakia's Slovnaft refinery, Anton Molnar, announced on Wednesday that both Ukraine and Russia had now agreed to a compromise proposal.
Accordingly, the Hungarian refinery company MOL and its Slovakian subsidiary Slovnaft would initially pay the transit fees to Ukraine.
Slovnaft has already made a first payment, Molnar explained.
oil price falls
According to Transneft spokesman Igor Djomin on Tuesday, the end of the transit was related to payment problems: Ukraine had demanded payment in advance for the transit of Russian oil, but payments made by Transneft had been rejected because of new European sanctions.
On the other hand, deliveries continue via the northern route of the Druzhba, which leads through Belarus and Poland to Germany.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after reports of a restart of supplies.
A barrel (159 liters) of the North Sea Brent for delivery in October last cost 95.11 US dollars.
That was $1.20 less than the day before.
The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery fell $1.26 to $89.24.