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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Flow to Lithuania May Restart

WARSAW -- Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft may soon restore the flow of oil to the Mazeikiu refinery in Lithuania, a source in Poland's energy sector said Thursday.

"There are signals from Transneft ... of renewing supplies," said the source, who has access to information about oil supplies at Mazeikiu's owner, PKN Orlen.

Transneft shut the Druzhba link to Mazeikiu Nafta in July, blaming a leak, at a time when Russian companies were battling PKN Orlen to buy the refinery from stricken Yukos and Lithuania's government. PKN Orlen bought Mazeikiu in December for $2.3 billion.

Lithuania calls the shutdown politically motivated and has threatened to block talks on the EU-Russian cooperation pact scheduled for May unless oil flow resumes.

Officials at Transneft were not immediately available for comment.

The Federal Service for Technical Regulations, Weights and Measures said Transneft was finishing a study on the feasibility of mending the pipeline and that oil was not likely to return in the next few weeks.

"[At this point] it is about making a decision on whether the repairs can be done or the link should be shut for good," a spokesman for the service said.

The Polish source said Transneft was considering fixing the line to Mazeikiu, despite previous comments from the company that repairs were too expensive.