Druzhba Pipeline

Druzhba Pipeline at a glance

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 5500 km. The official beginning of the Druzhba network is in Almetyevsk in the Russian Federation, 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. The current capacity of Druzhba is 1,2–1,4 million barrels a day, with possibility to increase up to 2 million barrels a day.

History of Druzhba Pipeline

The decision to construct a crude oil pipeline from the (then) 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).
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 400 million rubles to build. More than 15 million cubic meters 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.