Polish pipeline operator PERN says leak detected in Druzhba oil pipeline

WARSAW (Reuters): Polish pipeline operator PERN detected a leak on Saturday evening in one line of the Druzhba pipeline, which carries oil from Russia to Europe, and halted oil pumping through the line, it said.

The leak was detected near Chodecz, central Poland, on one of the two lines of the western section of the Druzhba through which crude oil reaches Germany, PERN said.

PERN said the second line of was operating without any changes and there was no health threat to local residents, adding the company was investigating the cause of the incident.

It said supply to Polish refineries was not impacted and that it was in contact with German partners receiving oil through the pipeline. Germany stopped buying Russian oil in January.

“PERN services have dug to the place where the pipeline was damaged. Preparatory work is under way to repair the line,” PERN posted on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday morning.

It did not say when the line was expected to be fixed or what the impact on supply to Germany was.

“Other elements of PERN’s infrastructure, including (Druzhba’s) Pomeranian section, which is used to pump crude oil arriving in tankers to Poland and then further to Germany, are operating in standard mode,” the company said in its statement.

Firefighters and PERN emergency services are at the scene of the incident, securing the area, the company said.

The Druzhba oil pipeline is one of the world’s largest and can carry two million barrels per day. The total capacity of the western section of both lines that carry oil from central Poland to Germany is 27 million tonnes of crude oil per year.

Europe has been on high alert over the security of its energy infrastructure after Russia invaded Ukraine last year and since major leaks were found in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines running from Russia to Europe under the Baltic Sea.