A section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod natural gas pipeline in western Russia exploded Wednesday, killing three repair workers. One driver was also experiencing shock, according to Reuters. The pipeline is now the main gas export route from Russia to Europe and carries gas from Siberia to central Europe via Ukraine.
According to local authorities, supplies had been redirected and the gas flare had been put out.
The gas pipeline’s damaged part was quickly localized. According to a statement from the Russian gas business Gazprom Transgaz Nizhny Novgorod, which was obtained by Reuters, gas is being delivered to consumers in full using parallel gas pipelines.
According to The Associated Press, Oleg Nikolayev, the governor of the Russia’s Republic of Chuvashia, said it was unclear how long the explosion-related pipeline repairs would take.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines exploded beneath the Baltic Sea in September, making the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline the main route for gas from Russia to Europe. This pipeline was constructed in the 1980s.
With the excuse that there were equipment problems, Russia abruptly halted supplying gas to Germany through Nord Stream 1 in August. Germany denied these assertions, claiming that Russia was attempting to raise gas costs and spread disbelief.
Just before Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany halted the licensing process for Nord Stream 2, and the pipeline was never used.
According to Reuters, Gazprom stated that it planned to flow 1,518.5 million cubic feet of gas through the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline to Europe the day after the incident, a volume commensurate with recent deliveries.
However, according to OilPrice.com, that is just 5.4% of the roughly 5,473.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas that Russia supplied to Europe last year. Europe has started importing liquified natural gas to complement its supply of natural gas from Russia.
A report from the nonprofit organization Environment America claims that a gas pipeline problem occurs in the United States once every 40 hours or thereabouts. Between January 2010 and October 2021, there were around 2,600 pipeline gas discharge occurrences that were significant enough to be reported to the federal government. 328 of them set off explosions and flames, which resulted in 122 fatalities and hundreds of injuries.
Approximately 26.6 billion cubic feet of methane gas have been released into the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of leaks that the federal government has documented, which has the same impact on global warming as the annual emissions of more than 2.4 million cars.
The reported gas leaks have cost and damaged about $4 billion since 2010.
According to the analysis, the volume of gas seeping into the environment is significantly more than what is indicated by federal leak reporting or emissions projections from the Environmental Protection Agency.