Poland’s pipeline operator PERN said on Sunday it had halted a section of the Druzhba pipeline carrying oil from Russia to Europe after detecting a small leak that is being fixed, with oil flows set to be restored by Tuesday.
The damaged section, where there is no indication of the leak being caused by a third party, is under repairs now, the company said in a statement carried by Reuters.
“The expected time for pumping to resume is Tuesday morning,” PERN said.
Security of supply to Germany is “fully guaranteed,” a spokesperson for the German federal Economy Ministry told Reuters.
Apart from the section under repair, other parts of the infrastructure operated by PERN are operating as usual, including the Pomeranian section, which is used to pump crude oil arriving in tankers to Poland and then further to Germany, the company said.
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.