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Leak Halts Russian Oil Flow To Germany, Officials Say Sabotage Not Suspected

Polish pipeline operator PERN said on Wednesday that it had detected a leak on the Druzhba oil pipeline carrying crude from Russia to Europe and switched off the damaged line to Germany immediately in what Poland says was probably an accidental leak.

PERN’s automation systems detected late on Tuesday a leak on one of the two lines of the Western section of the Druzhba pipeline which is used to deliver crude oil to Germany, the Polish operator said today.    

“At the moment, the causes of the incident are unknown – pumping on the damaged line was immediately switched off. Pumping through the other line remains undisturbed,” PERN added.  

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The situation has no impact on Poland’s supply of crude, while PERN is in contact with the German clients, the company said later on Wednesday.

“Supplies are continued, taking into account technical possibilities. Polish refineries continue to receive crude oil as nominated,” PERN said.

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Asked about whether the leak could be the result of sabotage, Poland’s most senior official in charge of energy infrastructure, Mateusz Berger, told Reuters, “Here we can talk about accidental damage.”

The leak on the Druzhba pipeline—whose crude oil supply to Europe is not subject to the upcoming EU embargo that includes only a ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil—comes just weeks after leaks were discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines, in incidents investigators say point to sabotage.

Four leaks, two in each of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, were discovered at the end of September after gas started leaking from the infrastructure just outside Swedish and Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea. A Swedish investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline leaks seems to have confirmed that “detonations” caused the explosions that damaged the pipelines.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com 

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