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Druzhba pipeline

Druzhba is one of the biggest crude oil pipeline networks in the world.

Druzhba pipeline

The decision to construct a crude oil pipeline from the USSR to its ally countries joint in the socialist bloc was taken by the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance convening in Prague in December 10, 1958.
The construction started in 1960, with each country responsible for their section (the pipeline became a property of that country).

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.

Pipes were manufactured in the Soviet Union and Poland, valves and fittings in Czechoslovakia.
The German Democratic Republic delivered pumps and Hungary provided automation and communications equipment.
The pipeline cost approximately RUB 400 million to build.

More than 15 million m3 of earth were moved to lay down 730 000 tons of pipe.
Druzhba crossed 45 major rivers on its road to Central Europe.
The whole pipeline was put into operation in October 1964.

Druzhba Pipeline is one of the biggest crude oil pipeline networks in the world.
The total length of the pipeline system including all its branches is around 5 100 km.
The Russian part of the pipeline is operated by the oil company Transneft through its subsidiary MN Druzhba.
The operator in another countries is:
  • Gomeltransneft Druzhba in Belarus,
  • UkrTransNafta in Ukraine,
  • PERN Przyjazn in Poland
  • Transpetrol in Slovakia
  • Mero in the Czech Republic
  • MOL in Hungary
The official beginning of the Druzhba network is in Almetyevsk in Russia, where pipelines carrying crude oil from Siberia, the Urals and the Caspian Sea meet.
Druzhba runs to Mozyr in Belarus, where it splits into a northern and a southern branch.

The northern branch continues via Belarus and Poland to Germany.
The southern branch runs through Ukraine, splitting in Uzhgorod into Druzhba-1 continuing to Slovakia (where it splits again and goes to the Czech Republic in one branch and Hungary in another) and Druzhba-2 continuing to Hungary.

In April 2019 the pipeline was shut down after it was found to be transporting contaminated oil.

The current capacity of Druzhba is 1,2–1,4 million barrels a day (B/D), with possibility to increase up to 2 million (B/D).