The leak was discovered in Poland's Kujawsko-Pomorskie province, some 70 kilometres from the central city of Płock, on Tuesday evening, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The part of the pipeline where the leak was detected supplies oil to Germany, officials said, according to Polish state news agency PAP.
Cause of leak ‘unknown at this point’: operator
PERN, the state-run operator of the Polish part of the Druzhba pipeline, said in a statement on Wednesday that the exact causes of the leak were unknown at this point, the Reuters news agency reported.
The operator added that the second line of the Druzhba pipeline, and other parts of PERN's infrastructure, including the northern section that pumps oil brought to Poland by tankers, were “working as normal,” the PAP news agency reported.
“At this point, all PERN services (technical, operational, in-house fire brigade and environmental protection) are taking action in accordance with the algorithms provided for this type of situation," the company said.
A spokesman for PERN’s fire brigade told the state-run TVP Info news channel: "The main action (we are taking) is to pump out the liquid and locate the leak and stop it,” adding there was “no danger” to local residents.
‘No grounds to believe it was sabotage’: gov’t official
Meanwhile, Poland's top official in charge of energy infrastructure, Mateusz Berger, said of the leak, as quoted by Reuters: "Here we can talk about accidental damage."
Berger added there were “no grounds to believe the leak was caused by sabotage,” Reuters reported.
The Druzhba [Russian for “friendship”] pipeline ranks among the world's biggest oil pipelines, delivering Russian oil to much of central Europe, including countries such as Poland, Germany, Belarus, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria.
The discovery of the Druzhba leak comes amid an acute energy crisis in Europe, fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has seen Moscow cut supplies of gas to the continent.
It also comes in the wake of mysterious leaks in the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream undersea gas pipelines, news outlets reported.
Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters