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Polish pipeline operator detects leak in Friendship oil pipeline

Marcin Gadomski/PAP

Polish pipeline operator PERN has detected a leak in one line of the two stretches of the western section of the Friendship pipeline, which carries oil to Germany, and halted oil pumping through the line.

“On Saturday evening, a leak was detected near Chodecz, central Poland, on one of the two lines of the western section of the Friendship pipeline through which crude oil reaches Germany,” PERN said.

“Oil pumping through the line was halted immediately,” the company stated, adding that “the second line was operating without any changes and there was no health threat to local residents.”

PERN added in its statement that firefighters and PERN emergency services were at the scene of the incident, securing the area, and that an investigation into the cause of the incident was under way.

PERN also said that it had been in contact with the regional natural environment authority and that the remediation of soil would start immediately after the leak had been repaired.

According to PERN, other elements of the company’s infrastructure, including the pipeline’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.

PERN is a state-owned company of strategic significance for Poland’s energy security as it manages pipelines carrying oil to Orlen Group refineries in Plock (central Poland) and Gdansk (northern Poland), and to two refineries in Germany.

The Friendship pipeline is one of the world’s longest oil pipelines. Launched in 1964, it today stretches over a 5,500-kilometre-long network, pouring Urals oil directly into refineries in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. 

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