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Friendship pipeline leak not to affect Hungary

Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources asked OAO Transneft, the nation's oil pipeline monopoly, to cut by 80% the pressure in two of the main export links to Europe to avoid ruptures and environmental pollution, the ministry reported the leak yesterday. The leak occurred on a sideline which supplies the Novopolotsk refinery, not part of the pipeline that supplies Hungary, Mol Nyrt's spokesman said. The ministry's environmental inspectorate issued the order after a pipeline leaked July 29 near the Russian-Belarus border. The Russian's ministry's statement said oil from the pipeline contaminated local water and forests on an area of 10 square kilometers in the Bryansk province in West Russia. The inspectorate's experts examined the damaged pipeline and one more, parallel, link and discovered 487 “danger” spots, the ministry said today in a statement. The damaged pipeline resumed pumping oil at 12:07 p.m. Moscow time today after repairs, Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman for the Russian Emergency Ministry, said by phone from Moscow earlier today. Crude oil rose after the Russian government reported the leak. AB Mazeikiu Nafta, which runs Lithuania's only oil refinery, said today a disruption in its oil supply from Russia, the world's second largest oil producer, had forced the company to reduce crude processing. (Econews, Bloomberg)