A leak in one of the Druzhba pipelines taking oil from Russia across Poland to Germany was discovered on Tuesday night some 70 kilometers from the city of Płock in central Poland.
PERN, Poland’s operator of the Polish part of the pipelines, has said that they did not know what had caused the leak, but confirmed that transmission had been stopped at the affected part of the pipeline and that the second of the pipelines is functioning normally.
According to emergency services, the leak occurred well away from heavily populated areas and was underground. The leak, however, surfaced on a cornfield, and authorities have since cordoned off and cleaned the affected area.
The leak has been covered in the European press, and while in the present climate, it is only natural that foul play will be considered a possible cause, Poland’s energy tsar, Mateusz Berger, said that the leak was probably an accident and is not being treated as sabotage.
The Druzhba oil pipelines have been in existence since 1964. They are 8,900 kilometers long and supply oil to Germany from Siberia. One of the pipes goes through Belarus and Poland into Germany, while a second pipe goes through Ukraine, Slovakia, Czechia, and Hungary.
Poland has been reducing its dependence on Russian oil and has signed an increasing amount of oil supply contracts with the USA, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia.