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Russian oil pipeline leak looks accidental, Poland says

A leak was detected just over 40 miles from the Polish city of Plock, operator PERN announced Wednesday.
Pern Crude Oil Refinery In Gdansk Poland
Pern crude oil tanks in Gdansk, Poland.Omar Marques / Getty Images file

A leak has been detected in another pipeline that carries energy supplies from Russia to Europe but the Polish government has said the damage was likely accidental.

The leak was detected Tuesday night in one line of the Druzhba oil pipeline just over 40 miles from the Polish city of Plock, its operator, PERN, said Wednesday.

PERN said the affected part of pipe was the main route through which crude oil reaches Germany.

“Here we can talk about accidental damage,” Poland’s top official in charge of energy infrastructure, Mateusz Berger, told Reuters by phone. He said there were no grounds to believe the leak was caused by sabotage.

PERN staff members and fire crews were immediately sent to the scene to assess the situation, secure the area and launch repair operations, it said. As of Wednesday morning, PERN said, the scene had been secured.

The cause of the leak is not yet known, PERN said.

It said other parts of the pipeline appeared to be operating normally.

“The main action is to pump out the liquid and locate the leak and stop it,” fire brigade spokesman Karol Kierzkowski told the Polish state broadcaster TVP Info.

Europe is grappling with an energy crisis in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, in which Russia has cut off gas supplies in response to economic sanctions.

It follows the discovery of leaks in the Nord Stream pipelines that carry gas from Russia to Europe after underwater blasts last month, which the West labeled as "sabotage."