Tuesday 20 December 2022

Three killed by explosion on natural gas pipeline in Russia.

Three workers carrying out maintenance work on a gas pipeline in the Russian Republic of Chuvashia have been killed in an explosion that took place on Tuesday 20 December 2022. A fourth person, described as their driver, is being treated for shock. The explosion produced a fire described as two stories high, but this was quickly extinguished by cutting the gas supply to the pipeline.

Fire caused by an explosion on a gas pipeline in the Russian Republic of Chuvashia, seen from the village of Yambakhtino. Moscow Times.

The explosion occurred on a section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod Pipeline, which is operated by the Russian state-controlled natural gas company Gazprom, and which supplies gas from the Yamburg Gas Field in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, within the West Siberian Arctic Circle, to the Uzhhorod Pumping Station in Western Ukraine, and then on to Central and Western Europe. The explosion interrupted the supply of gas temporarily, but this was quickly restored by switching to a parallel section of pipeline.

The aftermath of an explosion on the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod Pipeline in the Russian Republic of Chuvashia on 20 December 2022. Ministry of Emergency Situations/AP.

The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod Pipeline is currently the only pipeline supplying natural gas to Western Europe from Russia; the Nordstream 1 pipeline which ran beneath the Baltic Sea to Germany was shut off by Russian authorities in August, citing equipment problems, although this has widely been interpreted as a response to Germany providing weapons, equipment and training to Ukraine following the Russian invasion of that country in February this year. A second Baltic pipeline, Nordstream 2, was never brought into service, after Germany withdrew support for the project in protest at the invasion of Ukraine. A section of both pipelines beneath the Baltic was destroyed by an explosion in September, with Swedish investigators subsequently finding traces of explosives at the site, although who blew it up, and why, remains unclear.

See also...

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Twitter.