Transneft North Holds Emergency Response Drill at Usa — Ukhta Underwater Crossing

Date of publication: 31 January 2020

Transneft North has held an emergency response drill on containment and elimination of simulated oil spills in winter at the underwater crossing of the Usa – Ukhta oil trunk pipeline under the Ayyuva (Severnaya) River in the area of responsibility of the Zelenoborsk OPS of the Usinsk Regional Oil Pipeline Directorate.

According to the drill scenario, an emergency pressure drop occurred at the underwater crossing of the Usa – Yaroslavl oil pipeline. A decision was made to simulate an oil transportation shutdown. As ordered by the dispatcher, a patrol crew was sent to determine the damage location and specify the nature of the incident. The inspection revealed an oil “release” onto the water surface. The simulated oil spill location was marked with signs and warning posters.

Elimination of the simulated emergency oil spill involved the emergency line maintenance division (ELMD) from the Zelenoborsk oil pumping station, as well as from the Usa Central Maintenance Division. The personnel’s tasks included installing winter booms at two containment boundaries. The river’s width at the crossing location is 25 metres, with the maximum current speed of 0.54 m/s. Employees of Transneft North removed ice and installed a total of 90 m of winter booms. The drills brought together 27 persons, as well as 12 motor and special vehicles.

The crews managed to contain the simulated oil release on the water surface and eliminate the consequences of the emergency subject to the oil leakage prevention and elimination plan (OLPEP).

It was noted in the follow-up of the ERD that the operational repair personnel and dispatchers successfully coped with their tasks. The employees fully confirmed their readiness to promptly spot the location of a simulated oil release, preclude the emergency from deterioration, properly utilise the technical facilities to contain and eliminate a simulated oil spill.


According to the regulatory requirements, emergency response drills at oil trunk pipeline underwater crossings are obligatory in summer and winter. The main purposes of practicing personnel prompt response to emergencies are as follows: to minimise the risk of accidents at hazardous operating facilities and to secure a high level of environmental protection in the areas where trunk pipelines of Transneft North run.