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Russian Refineries Accused of ‘Thousands’ of Safety Violations

Russia’s industrial safety watchdog discovered “thousands” of violations in a national inspection of oil refineries.

The watchdog, known as Rostekhnadzor, has ordered companies to close units at refineries visited by inspectors since last year because of outdated production facilities, Nikolai Kutin, the agency’s head, told reporters in Moscow today.

The Ryazan refinery, owned by TNK-BP, the Russian oil producer half-owned by BP Plc, is “in particularly bad shape,” he said. “It will require major investment to bring it into normal condition.”

TNK-BP has received the results of the inspection and plans to submit a detailed plan to the watchdog, Dmitry Sergeev, a spokesman for the company, said by telephone.

“TNK-BP is working in close cooperation with the inspection and oversight agencies and is pleased with the objective nature of the inspection,” he said.

Russia is seeking to modernize its refineries and will penalize oil companies for failing to upgrade their plants, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier this month.

The country may see an improvement at refineries in two to three years, Kutin said today.

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