Druzhba Oil Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Druzhba Oil Pipeline, also known as the Friendship Pipeline and Comecon Pipeline, is the world's longest oil pipeline and one of the biggest oil pipeline networks in the world. It carries oil some 4,000 km from the eastern part of the European Russia to points in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany.[1] The network also branches out into numerous pipelines to deliver its product throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. The name "Druzhba" means "friendship," alluding to the fact that the pipeline supplied oil to the energy-hungry western regions of the Soviet Union, to its "fraternal socialist allies" in the former Soviet bloc, and to western Europe. Today, it is the largest principal artery for the transportation of Russian (and Kazakh) oil across Europe.


The pipeline runs from Almetyevsk in Tatarstan, Russia, and branches off to Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Germany.[2]

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Project details

  • Operator: Transneft[3] (Russia ); Gomeltransneft Druzhba (Belarus ); UkrTransNafta (Ukraine ); PERN Przyjazn SA (Poland ); Transpetrol AS (Slovakia ); Mero (Czech Republic ); MOL (Hungary)[4]
  • Owner: Transneft (Russia ); Gomeltransneft Druzhba (Belarus ); UkrTransNafta (Ukraine ); PERN Przyjazn SA (Poland ); Transpetrol AS (Slovakia ); Mero (Czech Republic ); MOL (Hungary)
  • Parent company: Transneft (Russia ); UkrTransNafta (Ukraine ); PERN Przyjazn SA (Poland ); Transpetrol AS (Slovakia ); Mero (Czech Republic ); MOL (Hungary)
  • Capacity: 1,400,000 barrels per day
  • Length: 5,100 kilometers / 3,168.99 miles[5]
  • Status: Operating
  • Start year: 1962


On 18 December 1958, the 10th session of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon ), held in Prague, adopted a decision and an agreement was signed on construction of a trunk crude oil pipeline from the USSR into Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany (GDR) and Hungary.[6] The construction of the initially proposed 5,327-km long pipeline commenced in 1960.[7] Each country was to supply all necessary construction materials, machinery and equipment. Oil first reached to Czechoslovakia in 1962, to Hungary in September 1963, to Poland in November 1963, and to GDR in December 1963. The whole pipeline was put into operation in October 1964. The first oil pumped through the Druzhba pipeline originated from the oil fields in Tatarstan and Samara (Kuybyshev) Oblast. In the 1970s the Druzhba pipeline system was further enlarged with the construction of geographically parallel lines.[8]


The pipeline begins from Almetyevsk in Tatarstan, the Russian heartland, where it collects oil from western Siberia, the Urals, and the Caspian Sea. It runs to Mozyr in southern Belarus, where it splits into a northern and southern branch. The northern branch crosses the remainder of Belarus across Poland to Schwedt in Germany.[6] It supplies refineries in Płock and in Schwedt. The northern branch is also connected by the Płock-Gdańsk pipeline with the Naftoport terminal in Gdańsk, which is used for oil re-exports.[9] In Schwedt the Druzhba pipeline is connected with the MVL pipeline to Rostock and Spergau.

The southern branch runs south through Ukraine. In Brody the Druzhba pipeline is connected with the Odessa–Brody Oil Pipeline, which is currently used to ship oil from the Druzhba pipeline to the Black Sea. In Uzhgorod the pipeline splits into lines to Slovakia (Druzhba-1 - original Druzhba route) and to Hungary (Druzhba-2). The line through Slovakia is divided once again near Bratislava: one branch leading in a northwest direction to the Czech Republic and the other going southward to Hungary. The Druzhba-1 pipeline branches off toward Hungary in Banská Bystrica Region (Slovakia) near the river of Ipeľ, crosses the Hungarian border at Drégelypalánk and leads to Százhalombatta.[6] In Hungary, the Druzhba-1 pipeline supplies Duna refinery while Druzhba-2 supplies Duna and Tisza refineries.[10]

The ORLEN Lietuva in Lithuania and Ventspils oil terminal in Latvia are connected to the main pipeline by the branch pipeline from Unecha junction in Bryansk Oblast. This branch ceased operation in 2006.

The part of Druzhba pipeline system, which runs via Belarus, is 2,910 km long. The length of the pipeline is 1,490 km in Ukraine, 670 km in Poland, 130 km in Hungary, 332 km in Lithuania, 420 km in Latvia, and around 400 km in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic.[6][11] The pipeline crosses 45 major rivers as well as 200 railways and highways.[7]

Technical features

The pipes for the project were manufactured in the Soviet Union and Poland, while fittings were manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The GDR was responsible for pumps and Hungary provided automation and communication equipment. The construction cost nearly 400 million rubles and comprised of nearly 730,000 tons of pipe.[7] The Druzhba pipeline currently has a capacity of 1.2 to 1.4 million barrels per day. Work is currently underway to increase this in the section between Belarus and Poland. The pipe diameter of the pipeline varies from 420 to 1,020 mm.[8] It uses 20 pumping stations.


The Russian part of the pipeline is operated by the oil company Transneft through its subsidiary OAO MN Druzhba. The operator is Gomeltransneft Druzhba in Belarus, UkrTransNafta in Ukraine, PERN Przyjazn SA in Poland, Transpetrol AS in Slovakia, Mero in the Czech Republic, and MOL in Hungary.[12]

Parallel disputes on transit fees

For the last several years, Russia and Ukraine have been tied up in transit fee disputes as the major pipelines supplying Europe with Russian oil and gas run through Ukraine. The Russia–Ukraine continuous disputes were primarily based on transit of natural gas. On December 28, 2009, referring to Russia's announcement, Slovakian government said Russia issued warnings that it would stop oil supplies to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic over a transit fees dispute with Ukraine.[13] However, the next day, Ukraine's Naftogas issued a statement confirming that Russia agreed to a 30 percent increase in the transit fees through Ukraine. The rise in the tariff was from $7.8 to $9.50 (or €6.6) per tonne of oil for transiting Ukraine in 2010 and was implemented due to the decision from the Russians to raise prices. Additionally, unlike previous payments, new payments will be made in Euros at the request of Ukraine. Also Ukraine needs substantial investments to update the network on its territory as the pipeline grows old. Russia and Ukraine also agreed on the volume of oil to be transported through Ukraine. The overall amount of oil to be transported to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary through Ukraine in 2010 was planned at 15 million tonnes - a decrease from 17.1 million tonnes in 2008.[14]

Contaminated oil and shutdown

In April 2019 the pipeline was shut down after it was found to be transporting contaminated oil.[15] The contaminated oil contained 330 parts per million (ppm) of organic chlorides versus a usual level of 10 ppm.[16] In May 2019 the site of the contamination was found to be the Lopatino metering unit in the Samara region, and four Russians were arrested and charged under articles 158, 210 and 215.2 of the Russian criminal code.[17]

Oil resumed flowing through the pipeline in June 2019, though deliveries to Poland were temporarily halted after an increase in contaminants was detected.[18]

Proposed Expansion Projects

Druzhba-Wilhelmshaven Oil Pipeline

There have been proposals to extend northern branch of the Druzhba Pipeline to the German North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven, which would reduce oil tanker traffic in the Baltic Sea and make it easier to transport Russian oil to the United States. In 2007, German Oil Trading Gmbh (GOT) proposed to build a connection from Unecha to Wilhelmshaven with a possible branch to Polish and German oil refineries. The proposed connection would be 1,800 km long and would have capacity of 25 million tonnes of oil a year, which may be increased to 50 million tonnes. The expected cost of this project is US$2.5-billion.[19]

There have been no development updates and the project is presumed to be cancelled.

The expansion would run from the Druzhb Pipeline near Unecha, Russia to the German North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven.

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  • Owner:
  • Capacity: 25-50 million tonnes of oil a year
  • Length: 1,800 km
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Start Year:

Druzhba-Adria Pipeline

The Druzhba-Adria Pipeline Integration Project is a proposal to extend the pipeline to pass through Hungary and Croatia to reach the Adriatic Sea at the deep-water port of Omišalj.

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  • Owner:
  • Parent company:
  • Capacity:
  • Length:
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Start year:

The Druzhba-Adria Pipeline Integration Project is a proposal to extend the pipeline to pass through Hungary and Croatia to reach the Adriatic Sea at the deep-water port of Omišalj.

In the first phase, the Croatian portion of the Adria pipeline was reconstructed from the Sisak pumping station to Omišalj harbour. The Croatian company JANAF was responsible for the design of the initial project phase to reverse the phases of the Adria pipeline (which currently carries oil from the port inland) on the Sisak-Omišalj portion.

Photo Credit: Environmental Justice Atlas, http://bit.ly/2xF1idG

The proposal was touted by the Croatian President Stipe Mesić but it also garnered substantial negative press due to complaints from the environmentalist groups such as Eko Kvarner. The pipeline generated street protests and other visible mobilization in opposition to it.[20] Potential environmental impacts of the project include air pollution, biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity ), fires, food insecurity (crop damage ), loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, soil contamination, oil spills, deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, surface water pollution / decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, groundwater pollution or depletion, and large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems.[20]

It is also proposed to connect Druzhba-Adria with the planned Pan-European Pipeline.[21]

The project was proposed in 2003 and cancelled in 2005.[22]

Schwechat–Bratislava Oil Pipeline

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  • Owner:
  • Capacity: 2.5–5 mtpa[23]
  • Length: 60 kilometers[23]
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Start year:
  • Cost: US$30 million[24]

Schwechat–Bratislava two-way oil pipeline project was proposed in 2003. It would supply the OMV owned Schwechat Refinery from the Druzhba Pipeline.[12]

There have been no development updates, and the last reporting appears to have been in 2009.[23] It is considered cancelled as of 2013.

Baltic Pipeline System-2

Main article: Baltic Pipeline System 2

The Baltic Pipeline System 2 (BPS-2) is a pipeline from the Unecha junction of the Druzhba Oil Pipeline near the Russia-Belarus border to the Ust-Luga Oil Terminal at the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland. It has a 172 km long branch line to Kirishi oil refinery.[25][26] The throughput capacity of BPS-2 is 30 to 50 million tonnes of oil annually.[27] The construction of the BPS-2 started on 10 June 2009.[28]

Articles and resources


  1. "The List: The Five Top Global Choke Points". Foreign Policy. May 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
  2. "Ropovod". druzba-en.mero.cz (in cz). Retrieved 2021-08-17.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  3. "The Soviet pipeline that keeps Europe hooked on Moscow's oil". Financial Times. Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  4. "Druzhba pipeline". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  5. "Ropovod". www.mero.cz. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "The Comecon Pipeline. Background Research". RFE/RL. 1960-09-06. Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2008-01-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Druzhba Pipeline". Pipelines International. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "История" (in Russian). Transneft. Retrieved 2016-12-17. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  9. "Belarus blocks Russian oil deliveries to Germany, Poland and Ukraine". International Herald Tribune. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  10. International Energy Agency (2003). Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Hungary (PDF). Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. pp. 67–70. ISBN 92-64-17096-0.
  11. Anatoly Dozhin (2002-12-05). "Druzhba never gets old". Rossijskaya Gazeta. Transneft. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-12-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Issues surrounding the privatisation of the petrochemical industry in the V4 countries". Visegrad.info. 2003-10-01. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  13. "Russia warns of oil supply cut-off through Ukraine, says Slovakia". France 24. 2009-12-28. Archived from the original on 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2009-12-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. "Russia agrees to higher oil transit fees with Ukraine's Naftogaz". France 24. 2009-12-28. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2009-12-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. Russia resumes oil flows via Druzhba pipeline in full after contamination: RIA, Reuters, Jul. 1, 2019
  16. [1], 112 UA, May 8, 2019
  17. Four people arrested in case of contamination of oil in Druzhba pipeline, Tass, May 7, 2019
  18. Transneft reports new Druzhba oil pipeline contamination discovery, S&P Platts Global, Jun. 20, 2019
  19. "German Investors Propose Building Unecha-Wilhelmshaven Oil Pipeline". Interfax. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Druzhba Adria Oil Pipeline, Croatia Environmental Justice Atlas, accessed October 2017
  21. "Zagreb floats new pipe plan". Upstream (newspaper). NHST Media Group. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2008-05-31. Text "Upstream Online " ignored (help)
  22. "Druzhba Adria Oil Pipeline, Croatia". Environmental Justice Atlas. Sept. 4, 2014. Retrieved Feb. 7, 2020. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 "OMV Urges Rapid Construction Of Bratislava-Schwechat Oil Pipeline". NS Energy Business. Retrieved 2022-05-09.
  24. "OMV Transpetrol to construct Slovakia-Austria oil pipeline". Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  25. "PM Fradkov orders second leg of Baltic Pipeline System". RIA Novosti. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  26. Socor, Vladimir (2007-05-24). "Russia to redirect massive oil volumes from Druzhba to Baltic pipeline". Eurasia Daily Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 2016-02-13. Retrieved 2016-02-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  27. Geropoulos, Kostis (2007-05-26). "BPS-2 to redirect oil volumes from Druzhba pipeline". New Europe. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-12-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. "Russia builds Baltic oil pipeline to bypass Belarus". EurActiv. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

Related GEM.wiki articles

Existing Pipelines in Russia

External resources

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