The Druzhba pipeline has shut down, but deliveries of crude have so far remained uninterrupted, public current affairs channel M1 reported on Tuesday evening.
According to M1’s sources, the pipeline’s power supply system was damaged by a missile strike on the Belarus-Ukraine border, but the pipeline itself remained intact, and crude deliveries stable.
Hungarian oil and gas company MOL on Tuesday said it was prepared to ensure the country and the region’s energy supply after power to the Druzhba pipeline which delivers Russian crude to Europe was cut following a missile strike.
MOL’s operational and Hungary’s strategic oil reserves are sufficient to keep the main refinery in Szazhalombatta running until the damage is repaired, the company told MTI.
MOL cited Ukraine’s pipeline operator as saying that a transformer powering a Druzhba pump station had been hit by a Russian missile strike, temporarily interrupting crude deliveries to Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia. “We are monitoring developments and examining the conditions for restarting the Druzhba pipeline together with our Ukrainian partners,” MOL said.
The attack damaged the transformer that supplies power to the Friendship oil pipeline, Index.hu reports. MOL confirmed in a statement that the pipeline was down. “As a result of the hit, oil deliveries on the Friendship pipeline to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been temporarily stopped.”
Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky urged calm in connection with reports of missiles hitting Poland and the shutdown of the Druzhba oil pipeline, in an interview with public television on Tuesday.
Speaking to current affairs channel M1, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the meeting of the Defence Council convened by the prime minister earlier in the evening had focused on the missile strike that has caused power to be cut to the Druzhba pipeline, which delivers Russian crude to Europe as well as the missile strike on Polish territory.
Concerning the pipeline disruption, the minister said every bit of information needed to be treated with caution in such a situation. He said it was also important that the government do not draw far-reaching conclusions, noting that according to reports it was not the pipeline itself but a transformer supplying power to it that had been hit.
Delivery of crude via the pipeline has been halted for now, but the leaders of oil and gas company MOL have informed the government that Hungary’s oil supply is uninterrupted and will remain so in the longer term, he said.
As regards the missile strike on Poland, the minister said it was unclear what exactly had happened. “We’re waiting for our Polish colleagues to get back to us and brief us on what they know,” he added.
Szalay-Bobrovniczky said he had spoken to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the defence ministers of several countries. Everyone is urging calm based on the information available at this time, he said, adding that they had to wait and see what Poland would report.
The Hungarian government is monitoring developments and the Armed Forces of Hungary is prepared to defend the country, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. “We don’t have to take any specific step for the time being besides being in constant contact with the full European and NATO system,” he said. “We’re capable of reacting immediately if anything happens but for now we’re watching and waiting to see what happens.”