Northern Lights Gas Pipeline

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

Northern Lights Gas Pipeline is an operating natural gas pipeline.[1]


The pipeline runs from Urengoy gas field through Vuktyl, Ukhta, Gryazovets, Torzhok, and Smolensk to Minsk in Belarus.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Gazprom Transgaz Belarus
  • Parent Company: Gazprom
  • Current capacity: 51 billion cubic meters per year
  • Proposed capacity:
  • Length: 4,384 miles / 7,377 kilometers
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1985


The Northern Lights pipeline system was built in the Soviet Union from the 1960s to 1980s. Construction of the Vuktyl–Ukhta–Gryazovets–Torzhok section started in 1967 and was completed in 1969. By 1974, the pipeline had been extended to Minsk.[2] The second main trunk line was added during the 1970s and by 1985, a third main trunk line had been built.[3] Originally, gas was supplied by the Vukhtyl gas field, but later the pipeline was extended in order to connect with the Urengoy gas field.

Technical description

The Northern Lights pipeline system has a total length of 7,377 km (4,384 mi) of which around 2,500 km (1,553 mi) is used to transport Russian gas to Europe. The pipeline runs from the Urengoy gas field through Vuktyl, Ukhta, Gryazovets, Torzhok and Smolensk to Minsk in Belarus and from there to Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania.[4][2][5] A part of the newer Yamal–Europe pipeline runs parallel to the Northern Lights pipeline.[4] A branch line from Gryazovets through Saint Petersburg to Vyborg supplies the Saint Petersburg area and Finland. In Torzhok, the Northern Lights pipeline intersects with the Moscow–Saint Petersburg pipeline supplying the Saint Petersburg area, Latvia and Estonia. The Minsk–Vilnius–Kaliningrad branch line supplies Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast while the Ivatsevichy-Dolyna branch line supplies Ukraine and the Kobrin-Brest-Warsaw branch line supplies Poland.

The system from Torzhok to the West consists of five major trunk pipelines:[4][6]

Route Length Strings Capacity Diameter Built in
Torzhok-Minsk-Ivatsevichy 454 km 3 45 bcm/year 1200 mm 1975–1983
Ivatsevichy-Dolyna (to Ukraine) 146 km 2 1220 mm 1976/1981
Kobrin-Brest-Warsaw (to Poland) 87 km 1 1020 mm 1985
Minsk-Vilnius (to Kaliningrad and Lithuania) 196 km 1 1220 mm 1988
Torzhok-Dolyna (to Ukraine) 364 km 1 1420 mm 1994

This part of the system has 6 compressors stations. Its technical input capacity is 51 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year; however, due to the age of the pipeline system, its operational capability is estimated to be 46-48 bcm per year. In 2007, it transported 39 bcm of gas: 20.6 bcm to Belarus for domestic supply and 18.4 bcm for export to Europe. The total amount of Russian gas transmitted through Belarus to Europe was 70.1 bcm in 2007.[4]


The Russian section of the pipeline system is a part of the unified gas system of Russia and is owned and operated by Gazprom. The section in Belarus became Belarusian property after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and is now owned and operated by Beltransgaz.[4] In 2011 Belarus sold its gas pipelines to Gazprom, which operates them through [7]

Articles and resources


  1. Northern Lights (pipeline), Wikipedia, accessed April 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dienes, Leslie; Shabad, Theodore (1979). The Soviet energy system: resource use and policies. New York City: V.H. WinstonNorthern Lights. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-470-26629-8. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. International petroleum encyclopedia. 16. New York City: PennWell Pub. Co. 1985. p. 196.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Yafimava, Katja (2009). "Belarus: the domestic gas market and relations with Russia". In Pirani, Simon (ed.). Russian and CIS Gas Markets and their Impact on Europe. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-955454-6.
  5. Dahl, Carol Ann (2004). International energy markets: understanding pricing, policies, and profits. New York City: PennWell Books. p. 263. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  6. "Belarus Gas Pipelines". East European Gas Analysis. 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  7. Gas Deal With Belarus Gives Control of Pipeline to Russia, New York Times, Nov. 26, 2011

Related articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Northern Lights (pipeline) (Northern Lights (pipeline)). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].