“Friendship” breaks. What happened to the largest oil pipeline

MOSCOW, 12 Oct — PRIME. On Wednesday morning, the Polish operator Pern announced the depressurization of one of the two strings of the Druzhba oil pipeline, through which Russian oil is supplied to European countries, including Germany. After the emergency on the Russian Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines that occurred in September, the situation immediately caused a lot of speculation around it. About what is known at the moment – in the material of the agency “Prime”.

Poland considers all possible causes of the accident at the Druzhba oil pipeline

Druzhba is one of the largest oil trunk pipeline systems in the world. It was built by the Soviet Union in the 1960s to export raw materials from the Volgouralsk oil and gas region to the socialist countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) in Europe. These are Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Soviet part of Germany.

The pipeline stretches across the Russian territory from Samara to Bryansk, then through the territory of Belarus goes to Mozyr, after which it branches into 2 directions: northern (through the territory of Belarus, Poland, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania) and southern (through the territory of Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia).


The Polish operating company Pern announced on the morning of October 12 that one of the two strings of the Druzhba oil pipeline leading to Germany had been depressurized. The causes of the accident are still unknown.

“Late on Tuesday, Pern’s automation systems detected a leak in the Druzhba pipeline on one of the two strings of the western section of the gas pipeline, about 70 kilometers from Plock,” the operator said in a statement.

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Pern emergency services and the state fire brigade immediately went to the scene to assess the situation, secure the area and begin restoration work.

Oil refinery and oil pipeline

Poland studies causes of oil leak at Druzhba

Later, a representative of the chief commandant of the State Fire Guard of Poland, Karol Kierzkowski, said that the leak from the pipe would continue for several more hours, although the pressure in it was falling, work was underway to clean up the area.

“All actions are now concentrated on protecting the territory. This is simply a corn field without buildings. There are no threats to residents. The actions consist in pumping oil into tanks provided by Pern. About 400 cubic meters have already been taken out,” the representative of the Fire Guard added, noting that the causes of the accident it’s too early to say yet.

As for the second line of the pipeline, no problems were initially reported: Barbora Puttsova, press secretary of the MERO operator, said that the pumping of raw materials to the Czech Republic through the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline is going according to plan, there are no changes.


As Reuters writes with reference to Mateusz Berger, authorized government of Poland for strategic energy infrastructure, there is no reason to believe that sabotage is behind the emergency at Druzhba. Here we can talk about accidental damage,” Berger said.

In turn, Italian Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani expressed hope that the cause of the leak at the Druzhba oil pipeline in Poland was not sabotage. “I don’t know more than you. Let’s hope it’s not sabotage, that would be terrible,” he said.

However, the head of the Ministry of Energy of Serbia, Zorana Mikhailovich, does not agree with them: she sees the situation with Druzhba as a continuation of the events with Nord Stream.

Poland did not name the timing of the elimination of the leak at Druzhba

“What we all need to know is that there is a world energy war going on. Still not a world war as we imagine it, without nuclear weapons, but this is a world energy war. What is happening in connection with the Druzhba oil pipeline, which is the most longest in the world – about 4 thousand kilometers, only Russian oil passes through it – looks like a continuation of what happened on the Nord Stream gas pipeline, – her press service quoted the minister as saying.

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The statement of Stanislav Zharin, press secretary of the Minister-Coordinator of the Polish Intelligence Services, Commissioner for Security of the Information Space, does not add optimism either. In his opinion, all causes of oil leakage are possible. “All hypotheses are possible,” Zharin wrote on Twitter.


As for the second string of Druzhba, the Minister of Economy of Brandenburg, Joerg Steinbach, later announced a drop in pressure in it. The cause of the leak is being established.

“There was a drop in pressure in Druzhba, in particular, in the second pipeline,” he noted and added that the refinery in Schwedt, Germany, is supplied with Russian oil, which comes through this pipeline. The parties are now looking into the impact the incident has on deliveries to Schwedt.

“The cause of the leak is currently under investigation, we do not yet know the details,” the minister added.


As commented on the situation in the German Ministry of Economy, the department monitors the development of the situation with the pipeline and cooperates with all interested parties. the reliability of supplies to the country is still guaranteed and the oil refineries in Schwedt and Leuna continue to receive raw materials through “Druzhba 1”, through the territory of Poland.

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However, representatives of the right-wing opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD) called on Berlin to find out if the incident on the Polish section of the Druzhba oil pipeline has political overtones and whether it could be related to sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

“For the second time in a very short time, critical energy infrastructure has been damaged,” said AfD co-chairman Tino Krupalla. “Germany must not stand idle while valuable and vital infrastructure is being destroyed.”


Against the backdrop of reports of an emergency at Druzhba, the French authorities urgently convened an interdepartmental meeting due to problems with fuel supplies. The decision to convene the meeting was made due to the situation with fuel shortages at gas stations. In addition, a meeting of the energy company TotalEnergies is scheduled for 15:00 Moscow time, where they will discuss the situation with strikes at French energy enterprises, where workers from September 27, through a strike, demand to raise wages and index payments for the current 2022. They were later joined by workers from two Esso-ExxonMobil refineries.

Thus, almost all of the country’s oil refining capacities were blocked, which led to a shortage of fuel at every third gas station in the country.

In particular, the French authorities on Wednesday began the procedure for unblocking an oil storage facility at the Port-Jerome-Gravenchon refinery, owned by Esso-ExxonMobil, where strikes have continued since September 27. “The country’s Ministry of Energy Transition ordered today to start the process of ending the strike at the fuel storage facility of the Port-Jerome-Gravenchon refinery and returning the people necessary for the operation of the enterprises to work,” LCI reported.

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