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UPDATE 3-Contaminated oil to flow to Slovakia, Hungary for 4-6 months, Ukraine says

Olesya Astakhova, Gleb Gorodyankin and Katya Golubkova

Ukraine says@

* Russia, Belarus, companies hold talks on Tuesday

* Tainted oil to be pumped to Slovakia, Hungary for 4-6 months -Ukraine

* Russia started clean oil supplies to Ust-Luga

* Hungary tests oil imports via Druzhba

* No oil supplies to Poland, Germany -sources

* Transneft: oil firms to blame for Druzhba contamination

* Russian oil pipeline map: (Adds Ukraine, quotes, releads)

BRATISLAVA/MOSCOW, May 14 (Reuters) - Russian oil being pumped towards Slovakia and Hungary will stay contaminated for four to six months, Ukraine state pipeline company Ukrtransnafta said, as transit countries started to evaluate their losses from oil flow suspensions to Europe.

Contamination has disrupted Russian export flows since late April, when high levels of organic chloride were found in crude pumped to the Baltic port of Ust-Luga and through the Druzhba pipeline.

On Monday, Russia began shipping clean oil via the Baltic, while Hungary became the first European country to resume imports via the pipeline as part of a test.

Organic chloride is used in oil extraction but must be removed before the refining process is started.

Ukraine said on Saturday it had resumed transfers to European clients via the Druzhba pipeline's southern leg to Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic. It is unclear if there are any flows to other countries via that leg apart from Hungary.

Nikolai Gavrilenko, head of Ukrtransnafta, told Reuters on Tuesday there were around 350,000 tonnes of tainted oil stuck in Ukraine as of May 14, after some volumes were pumped further on the pipeline's southern leg.

"We will be squeezing it out towards Hungary and Slovakia according to the schedule, with the timing depending on the chloride levels left in that oil ... Overall, it will take between four to six months," Gavrilenko said after talks in Bratislava.

The Druzhba pipeline, which splits into two branches in Belarus, has a northern spur routed to Poland and Germany. Three trading sources told Reuters on Tuesday that were still no oil flows from Belarus towards Poland and Germany.

Poland's energy minister said on Monday it had started to remove polluted oil from its part of the pipeline.

Seaborne crude oil imports via the Polish port of Gdansk will reach at least 1.5 million tonnes in May - an all-time monthly high - to replace Druzhba supplies, Refinitiv Eikon flows system data showed.


The mechanism for any compensation arising from the contamination and who will pay it remains unclear.

Belarus, like some other countries on the route, gets not only oil but also transit fees, which can be a major source of budget revenues. Its President, Alexander Lukashenko, last week described its losses as "enormous."

"It is hard to give a specific number now as there was no revision yet of the equipment made at the plants," Vladimir Sizov, a deputy head of state energy company Belneftekhim, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Belarus' Belta news agency said on Tuesday that the Naftan oil refinery, one of two plants Belarus has, was calculating the losses it has accrued and is half loaded.

Ukrtransnafta' Gavrilenko told Reuters it planned to seek compensation from Transneft for storing the contaminated oil.

Transneft, in a rare statement since the oil crisis, said organic chloride - used in high viscosity oil extraction - could only appear in pipelines with oil provided by oil companies.

Transneft does not inject it to the system, it said, adding that at temperatures above 150 degrees Celsius, chloride has a major corrosive effect on refinery equipment, while doing no harm to the pipelines as temperatures are lower there.

Gavrilenko said on Tuesday that organic chloride content of up to 250 parts per million (ppm) was not harmful to the pipeline network. Permitted maximum levels for oil to be used in processing is 10 ppm.

Ukrtransnafta's Gavrilenko, Belneftekhim's Sizov, Russia's deputy energy minister Pavel Sorokin and executives from Transneft and European companies were meeting in Bratislava on Tuesday to discuss the next steps in the clean-up.

The talks are being held on the sidelines of a meeting of the International Association of Oil Transporters (IAOT) in the Slovak capital.

(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova and Tatiana Jankarikova in BRATISLAVA, Gleb Gorodyankin, Olga Yagova, Andrey Kuzmin, Vladimir Soldatkin and Tom Balmforth in MOSCOW, Andrei Makhovsky in MINSK Writing by Katya Golubkova, Editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)