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Russian pipeline monopoly operator Transneft said on Wednesday that there was an attempt at a “terrorist attack” on a filling station of the Druzhba oil pipeline in Russia’s Bryansk region bordering Ukraine.
“Yes, indeed, early this morning there was an attempt to commit a terrorist act against the Druzhba oil pipeline system at the Bryansk filling station,” Transneft’s representative Igor Demin told Russian news agency TASS, confirming an earlier report from a Telegram channel with links to Russia’s law enforcement agencies.
No injuries have been reported, Demin told TASS, adding that the incident is being investigated.
The Druzhba pipeline is a key artery of oil supply from Russia to Europe. It has two branches – a northern one via Belarus to deliver oil 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.
There have been several reports in Russian media over the past months that Ukrainian forces have been targeting the infrastructure of the Druzhba oil pipeline.
In the middle of March, Transneft said it had found explosive devices near a pumping station of the Druzhba oil pipeline in the region of Bryansk.
According to Demin, Russia suspects that drones dropped explosive devices in the vicinity of the Novozybkovo pumping station, which is typically used at peak loads on a one-time basis. The last time the pumping station was used was last year for a few hours.
In February, representatives for Transneft told Russian media that the Novozybkovo pumping station was targeted on January 31 by Ukraine. The pipeline continued to operate under normal conditions, a representative said after a shell hit on the territory of the pumping station.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.