Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod pipeline

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Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod pipeline
A Soviet stamp of 1983, dedicated to the Urengoy-Uzhgorod transcontinental export pipeline
A Soviet stamp of 1983, dedicated to the Urengoy-Uzhgorod transcontinental export pipeline
Location
Country Russia, Ukraine
General direction north-south-west
From Urengoy gas field
Passes through Izhevsk, Yelets, Kursk, Romny, Zhmerynka, Bohorodchany, Ivano-Frankivsk
To Uzhgorod
Runs alongside Progress pipeline, Soyuz pipeline, Bratstvo pipeline
General information
Type natural gas
Operator Gazprom
UkrTransGaz
Commissioned 1984
Technical information
Length 4,500 km (2,800 mi)
Maximum discharge 32×10^9 m3 (1.1×10^12 cu ft) per year

The Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod pipeline (also known as the West-Siberian Pipeline, or Trans-Siberian Pipeline) is one of Russia's main natural gas export pipelines, partially owned and operated by Ukraine.

History[edit]

The pipeline project was proposed in 1978 as an export pipeline from Yamburg gas field, but was later changed to the pipeline from Urengoy field, which was already in use. In July 1981, a consortium of German banks, led by Deutsche Bank, and the AKA Ausfuhrkredit GmbH agreed to provide 3.4 billion Deutsche Mark in credits for the compressor stations. Later finance agreements were negotiated with a group of French banks and the Japan Export-Import Bank (JEXIM). In 1981-1982, contracts were signed with compressors and pipes suppliers Creusot-Loire, John Brown Engineering, Nuovo Pignone, AEG-Telefunken, Mannesmann, Dresser Industries, and Japan Steel Works. Pipe-layers were bought from Caterpillar Inc. and Komatsu.[1]

The pipeline was constructed in 1982-1984. It complemented the transcontinental gas transportation system Western Siberia-Western Europe which existed since 1973. The official inauguration ceremony took place in France.[2]

On 19 July 2011, UkrTransGaz started modernization of the pipeline.[3]

Route[edit]

The pipeline runs from Siberia's Urengoy gas field to Uzhgorod in Western Ukraine. From there, the natural gas is transported to Central and Western European countries.[4] It crosses the Russian–Ukrainian border north of Sumy. In Ukraine, it takes gas to the Uzhgorod pumping station on the Ukrainian border with Slovakia and to smaller pumping stations on the Hungarian and Romanian borders.[5] The pipeline crossed the Ural Carpathian mountains and more than 600 rivers including Ob, Volga, Don and Dnepr rivers.[6]

Technical features[edit]

The pipeline is 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) long and has a diameter of 56 inches (1,420 mm). The annual capacity of the pipeline is 32 billion cubic metres (1.1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per year. It has 42 compressor stations.[1] The length in Ukraine is 1,160 kilometres (720 mi) and it served by nine compressor stations.[3]

The telecommunications and cathodic protection systems of the pipeline were installed by Alcatel of France. The pipeline utilizes 85 dual CCTV stations for telecommunications.[7]

Operators[edit]

The Russian section of this pipeline is operated by Gazprom and the Ukrainian section is operated by UkrTransGaz.

Controversies[edit]

Disagreement among the allies[edit]

The Soviet plans to build the pipeline were considered a threat to the balance of energy trade in Europe, and were strongly opposed by the Reagan administration.[8][9][10][11][12] The United States prevented U.S. companies from selling supplies to the Soviets for the pipeline, as part of what was also retribution against the Soviets for their policies towards Poland.[13]

America's Western European allies, however, refused to bow[14] to U.S. pressure[15] to boycott the pipeline,[16][17] insisting that contracts already signed between the Soviets and European companies needed to be honored. This led to several European companies being sanctioned by the U.S. Government.[15][18] Reagan reportedly said "Well, they can have their damned pipeline. But not with American equipment and not with American technology."[19] The efforts by the U.S. pressure to prevent the construction of the pipeline, and its export embargo of supplies for the pipeline (1980–1984) constituted one of the most severe transatlantic crises of the Cold War.[18][20]

Construction controversy[edit]

The construction of the pipeline was also subject to a United States Congressional hearing investigating the use of imported Vietnamese labor from re-education camps to build the pipeline.[21]

Accidents[edit]

The pipeline's first accident occurred even before the commissioning of the pipeline. On 15 December 1983, a fire broke out at a compressor station in Urengoy, destroying electronic monitoring devices and control panels, but no one was injured.[22]

On 7 May 2007, the pipeline exploded near the village of Luka. The explosion damaged 30 meters of the pipeline.[23] A second explosion happened on 6 December 2007 near the village of Tiahun.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b John Hardt; Donna L. Gold (1982-08-10). Soviet gas pipeline: U.S. Options. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  2. ^ "History of the gas branch". Gazprom. Retrieved 2008-05-30. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Ukraine Launches Modernization Of Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod Gas Pipeline". Ukrainian News Agency. 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  4. ^ The Mineral Industry of the U.S.S.R.. Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports. 1981. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  5. ^ Pirani, Simon (2007). Ukraine's gas sector (PDF). Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-901795-63-9. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  6. ^ Afzal, Amina (2004). "The Caspian region: competition for pipeline routes". Strategic Studies (The Institute of Strategic Studies) XXIV (3). Retrieved 2008-05-30. [dead link]
  7. ^ I.V. Belousenko (1997). "Energy converters prove most reliable for Gazprom". Pipeline & Gas Journal. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  8. ^ NSC Meetings Box 91282 (169).JPG
  9. ^ http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1982/60182d.htm
  10. ^ Ronald Reagan... National Defense
  11. ^ "CBS Evening News: Trans-Siberian Pipeline". 1982-02-26. CBS. http://tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/program.pl?ID=282376.
  12. ^ Lewis, Paul (1982-01-11). "U.S. asks its allies to deny to Soviet parts for pipeline". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  13. ^ "Alexander Haig". Time. 1984-04-09. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  14. ^ Gwertzman, Bernard (1982-02-11). "U.S. asserts gap on gas pipeline bars on accord". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  15. ^ a b Gelb, Leslie H. (1982-07-09). "Reagan is seeking ways to moderate Poland sanctions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  16. ^ Rattner, Steven (1982-08-03). "Britain defying U.S. restriction in Soviet project". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  17. ^ Lewis, Flora (1982-07-23). "France defies ban by U.S. on supplies for Soviet pipeline". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  18. ^ a b Hershey Jr, Robert D. (1982-09-02). "Regan asserts U.S. will sharply ease pipeline sanctions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  19. ^ The inside story of the Soviet downfall, by Wes Vernon
  20. ^ "Energy Security Policy as Economic Statecraft: A Concise Historical Overviewof the Last 100 Years" (PDF). Agora Without Frontiers (Institute of International Economic Relations, Greece) 9 (4): 307–329. 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  21. ^ Human-rights consequences of the proposed trans-Siberian natural gas pipeline
  22. ^ "Incident at Urengoi". Time. 1984-01-23. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  23. ^ Ukraine Pipeline Explosion. Overseas Security Advisory Council. 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  24. ^ "Ukrtranshaz Resumes Gas Transit To Europe Via Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod Pipeline". Pro-Consulting. 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2008-05-30.