Russian gas pipeline to Europe explodes | Popgen Tech


The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas export pipeline across the Striy River near the village of Stinava, Ukraine in 2015. Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Three repair workers were killed yesterday when a section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod natural gas pipeline exploded in western Russia. One driver also suffered from shock, Reuters reported. The pipeline transports gas from Siberia to central Europe via Ukraine and is currently the primary gas export route from Russia to Europe.

Local officials said the gas flame had been extinguished and supplies had been diverted.

“The damaged section of the gas pipeline was located immediately. Gas is fully transported to consumers through parallel gas pipelines,” Russian gas company Gazprom Transgaz Nizhny Novgorod said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

Governor of Russia’s Republic of Chuvashia Oleg Nikolayev said it was not clear how long the pipeline repairs would take after the explosion, The Associated Press reported.

The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline, built in the 1980s, has become the primary route for gas from Russia to Europe since the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines exploded under the Baltic Sea in September.

Nord Stream 1 supplied Germany with Russian gas until Russia stopped the supply in August, citing equipment problems. Germany rejected these claims, saying Russia wanted to sow doubt and raise gas prices.

Germany stopped the certification process for Nord Stream 2 just before Russia invaded Ukraine, and the pipeline was never used.

Gazprom said it expected to pump 1,518.5 million cubic feet of gas to Europe through the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline in the day after the explosion – an amount consistent with recent inventories, Reuters reported.

However, this is only 5.4 percent of the roughly 5,473.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas that Russia supplied to Europe last year, reported. Europe has supplemented its supply of natural gas from Russia with imports of liquefied natural gas.

According to a report by the nonprofit organization Environment America, a gas pipeline incident occurs approximately every 40 hours in the US. Nearly 2,600 pipeline gas release incidents of concern enough to be reported to the federal government occurred between January 2010 and October 2021. Of these, 328 caused explosions and fires that killed 122 people and left hundreds injured.

The federally reported leaks caused 26.6 billion cubic feet of methane gas to be spewed into the Earth’s atmosphere, which has the same global warming effect as the annual emissions of more than 2.4 million cars.

Since 2010, the reported gas leaks have resulted in nearly $4 billion in costs and damages.

“The amount of gas leaking into the environment is far greater than is captured in federal leak reporting or emissions estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency,” the report said.

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