|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.|
Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod Pipeline (also known as the Brotherhood Pipeline, West-Siberian Pipeline, and the Trans-Siberian Pipeline) is an operating natural gas pipeline delivering gas from Russia onward to Western Europe via Ukraine.
The pipeline runs southwest across the European part of Russia from the Urengoi gas field in northwest Siberia to Uzhgorod on the Slovakian border.
- Operator: Gazprom
- Current capacity: 100 billion cubic meters per year
- Length: 2,800 kilometers / 1,740 miles
- Status: Operating
- Start Year: 1967
The contract for the construction of the Brotherhood pipeline was signed in December 1964, and just two and a half years later the first gas was delivered to Czechoslovakia.
The Brotherhood pipeline, formerly the first Soviet gas export route, is now part of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod Central gas transport corridor.
The pipeline is the largest gas Russian transportation route. It can carry over 100 bcm gas per year, transiting through Ukraine and running to Slovakia. In Slovakia, the pipeline is split and one branch goes to the Czech Republic. Russian gas transported through the Czech Republic flows in the direction of Waidhaus and Hora Svaté Kateřiny via Uzhgorod, as well as from the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, with Olbernhau and Brandov as entry points. Its second branch goes to Austria. This country plays an important role in the delivery of Russian natural gas to Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Gas deliveries through this pipeline started in 1967.
In June of 2014 an explosion occurred along the pipeline in the Poltava region of Ukraine. Ukraine's Ministry of the Interior cited sabotage as the cause, but the Ministry of Energy stated that it was a depressurization problem that led the explosion. Poltava's local government claimed to have informed the network operator of the poor condition of the pipeline in their region, but the operator refused to conduct the necessary repairs.
As of 2019, the pipeline was undergoing emergency refurbishment which will cost $3 billion USD over seven years. However, it will not start anytime soon due to lack of financing. The refurbishing is in response to a 2011 analysis, which concluded that the natural gas transportation system of Ukraine was in an inadequate condition due to its poor design and construction, and due to the low or insufficient level of maintenance funding.
Articles and resources
- Transportation, Gazprom, accessed April, 2018
- Situation of the Ukrainian natural gas market and transit system KPMG, October 4, 2017