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The Druzhba oil pipeline from Russia to Europe has returned to full functionality after a leak was detected during the weekend that needed repairs, Poland’s pipeline operator PERN said on Tuesday.
“PERN’s technical services restored full functionality of the damaged pipeline on Monday evening,” the pipeline operator said in a statement carried by Reuters.
The company said on Sunday that it had halted a section of the Druzhba pipeline carrying oil from Russia to Europe after detecting a small leak that was being fixed. Back then, oil flows were expected to be restored by Tuesday.
The damaged section, where there is no indication of the leak being caused by a third party, was under repairs for two days until the damage was fixed.
Parts of the Druzhba pipeline have come under attack since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this year, a pumping station on the Druzhba oil pipeline was shelled in a western Russian region bordering Ukraine and Belarus, but the oil flows continued.
The Druzhba pipeline is a key artery of oil supply from Russia to Europe, with two branches – a northern one via Belarus to Belarus, Poland, Germany, Latvia, and Lithuania, and a southern one passing through Ukraine and sending oil to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Croatia.
Flows through the Druzhba pipeline are exempted from the EU embargo on imports of Russian crude oil by sea that came into effect on December 5. The EU has exempted pipeline oil flows to landlocked EU member states from the ban.
Nevertheless, Germany and Poland have said they would halt imports of Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline as of January 1. Germany did it on the first day of this year, following through on a previous pledge to stop buying Russian pipeline crude despite the fact that the EU embargo exempts pipeline flows from Russia to Europe.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.