The legendary object "Friendship". An oil pipeline built during Soviet times

Druzhba (trunk pipeline) is Europe’s largest oil delivery network to consumers. This is a satisfied old but reliable system. Under Soviet rule, there was such a body, CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance). It was an intergovernmental organization engaged in resolving economic issues arising from the interaction of the Warsaw Pact countries. At the CMEA session in 1958, it was decided to build such an object as Druzhba (oil pipeline), with the aim of supplying oil to the socialist countries of Europe.

The process took 4 years (1960-1964). Some branches were built earlier, and in 1962 Czechoslovakia received the first oil. Later, from 1968 to 1974, in connection with an increase in the volume of oil supplies, a second line was built - Friendship -2.

friendship oil pipeline

Construction Features

The construction of the Druzhba oil pipeline vividly showed close cooperation and mutual economic integration of the countries of the socialist camp. The fact is that the pipes were made for the project by the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia was engaged in fittings, all pumps at the distillation stations were produced by the German Democratic Republic (German quality!), And Hungary was responsible for the automation of communication equipment.

The purpose of the construction of the Friendship oil pipeline

"Friendship" (oil pipeline), in fact, was a reflection of the foreign policy of the USSR in those years. Its main feature was assistance to the fraternal socialist countries. In those years, they helped the “brothers” with everything they could. Often for a nominal fee or completely free.

  • First goal. Build economic friendship between the countries of the eastern Warsaw block. Therefore, the oil pipeline system was called "Friendship".
  • The second goal. Politics is politics, but economics is economics. Without Soviet oil, it was difficult for the socialist countries of Eastern Europe to survive, develop production and implement social programs.

It was unprofitable and dangerous to take oil by tankers from the capitalists. What if you like it, what if the West offers preferential conditions with the aim of changing regimes? The Union did not encourage or tolerate such things. There were examples. The Yugoslav leader, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, carried out some reforms, allowed private business with reservations, and immediately Yugoslavia was equated with a capitalist country, and the marshal was declared a renegade.

During the construction of this grandiose object, the political and economic goals of the project organizers coincided. The construction of the Druzhba oil pipeline was dictated not only by the political situation, but also by vital necessity.

jsc friendship oil pipelines

Where is Russian oil going?

Today there is no Soviet Union, no Czechoslovakia, no GDR. History is changing, and Druzhba (oil pipeline) regularly fulfills its function: it supplies oil from Russia to the countries of Eastern and Western Europe.

Deliveries are made from Tatarstan (Russia) through Ukraine and Belarus to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany. For the most part, oil goes through Belarus today, as there are problems with the Ukrainian side, but about them a little lower.

friendship oil pipelines

Friendship oil pipeline, Bryansk

The Druzhba oil trunk pipeline network is part of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation. OAO Druzhba Trunk Oil Pipelines has a head office in Bryansk. This is due to the fact that the Bryansk region has a unique geographical location. Some of its regions border Ukraine and others border Belarus. The main branch runs from Samara to Bryansk, and then to Mozyr (Belarus). In Mozyr, the system is divided into two important branches: northern (Belarusian) and southern (Ukrainian). Therefore, it is convenient to manage the pipeline from Bryansk.

friendship oil pipeline bryansk

Ukrainian branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline

As already written above, in the Belarusian Mozyr system is divided into two branches. The southern Ukrainian part of the pipe goes from Mozyr to the city of Brody (Ukraine) and further through Galicia and Transcarpathia to Europe. The Ukrainian company UkrTransNafta is operating this area.

The state of the Druzhba pipeline in Ukraine today

The Druzhba oil pipeline in Ukraine today does not fully function, and therefore Russia is forced to look for workarounds for oil transit to Europe. In addition, UkrTransNafta announced its intention to terminate the 1995 agreement with Russia on the operation of this facility. This is all due to the poor domestic political situation in Ukraine and the complication of diplomatic relations with Russia.

friendship oil pipeline in Ukraine

Accidents at the Druzhba oil pipeline

At the end of the topic, we’ll talk a bit about accidents at the Druzhba pipeline. No one is safe from technological disasters, so readers will be interested to know how things were with this facility.

There were oil leaks. Not critical, not causing catastrophic consequences, but they were. In the Ukrainian section , oil leaks occurred due to illegal tapping into a pipe. One of the most notorious cases occurred in July 2012 in Transcarpathia, in the Mukachevo district. Then half a ton of oil spilled into the reclamation channel.

Curious situations at first glance also occurred. But as a result of such curiosities, serious breakdowns occurred in the oil pipeline system. The situation that took place in October 2012 received a great response. Station operators in the Slovak and Czech areas noticed the malfunction of the devices. Later it turned out that condoms and rubber nipples in large quantities got into the system. And the pipe was blocked precisely in Ukraine.

A little later, the units at the Hungarian control station were spoiled in the same way. In social networks, many wits were having fun from the heart. But there was no reason for fun. Everything is simple. Someone crashed into a pipe, stole large quantities of oil, and threw rubber products into the system to confuse the downstream meters of the oil river.


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