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Druzhba pipeline leak reduces Russian oil flow to Germany

WARSAW (Reuters) – Germany mentioned on Wednesday it was receiving much less oil however nonetheless had sufficient provides after Poland discovered a leak within the Druzhba pipeline that takes crude from Russia to Europe, which Warsaw mentioned might have resulted from an accident quite than sabotage.

The invention of the spill on the principle route carrying oil to Germany, which operator PERN mentioned Tuesday evening, comes as Europe is on excessive alert about its vitality safety because it faces a extreme disaster within the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Lower off the gasoline provide.

«The safety of provides in Germany is at the moment assured,» a spokesman for the Economic system Ministry mentioned in an emailed assertion. He added that «the refineries in Schwedt and Leona are nonetheless receiving crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.»

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The Schwidt refinery, which provides 90% of Berlin’s gasoline, mentioned in an e mail assertion that deliveries are being made at diminished capability.

Germany mentioned it hopes to have extra info quickly from Poland about the reason for the leak and the way to repair it.

Europe has been on excessive alert over vitality infrastructure safety since main leaks had been found final month within the Nord Stream 1 and a pair of gasoline pipelines that run from Russia to Europe beneath the Baltic Sea. Each the West and Russia blamed the sabotage.

Nevertheless, Mateusz Berger, Poland’s chief official for vitality infrastructure, instructed Reuters by cellphone that the leak within the Druzhba pipeline was seemingly resulting from «unintended injury».

«We reside in turbulent occasions, there are numerous attainable indications, however at this level we now have completely no cause to imagine it,» he mentioned in response to a query about the potential of sabotage.

Berger mentioned the leak was situated 70 km west of Blok, the place Poland’s largest refinery, owned by BKN Orleen, is situated. Consequently, a part of the transport capability in direction of Germany was not out there, he mentioned, including that repairs «in all probability will not take lengthy.»

PERN mentioned provides to Germany have been diminished however are persevering with.

Reuters graphics

German and Poland refinery provides

The Druzhba oil pipeline, whose title in Russian means «friendship», is without doubt one of the largest pipelines on the planet, supplying most of Central Europe with Russian oil together with Germany, Poland, Belarus, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria.

Russia’s state-owned pipeline monopoly Transneft mentioned oil continues to be pumped towards Poland.

Poland’s PKN Orlen (PKN.WA) mentioned oil provides to its Block Refinery had been uninterrupted whereas Czech pipeline operator Miro mentioned it noticed no change in flows to the Czech Republic.

«The principle motion (we’re taking) is to pump out the liquid, find the leak and cease it,» fireplace brigade spokesman Karol Kerzkowski instructed state TVBinfo.

“When the strain drops it’s going to cease the leak and permit us to get to the leak,” he mentioned, including that it was too early to find out the trigger and there was no hazard to the general public.

Firefighters in Poland’s north-central Kujawsko-Pomorskie area mentioned they pumped about 400 cubic meters of oil and water from the leak web site, which was in the course of a cornfield.

PERN mentioned the second line of the pipeline and different parts of PERN’s infrastructure are working as typical.

“At this level, all PERN companies (technical, operational, indoor fireplace brigade and environmental safety) are taking motion in keeping with the algorithms out there for this sort of state of affairs,” the operator mentioned.

The whole capability of the western part of the pipeline that ships oil from central Poland to Germany is 27 million tons of crude oil yearly.

Germany’s Schwedt refinery is especially depending on Drogba.

The German authorities goals to cancel oil imports from Russia by the top of the yr beneath EU sanctions. However within the first seven months of the yr, Russia was nonetheless its largest provider, accounting for simply over 30% of oil imports.

As Germany searches for different provides for Schwedt, Druzhba may very well be helpful in supplying oil via the Polish port of Gdansk.

The German authorities can also be in talks to safe oil from Kazakhstan to provide Schwedt, however this oil should movement to Germany via the Druzhba pipeline as effectively.

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Reporting from the Reuters places of work by Alan Sharlish and Marek Strzelecki; Modifying by Jean Harvey and Elaine Hardcastle

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