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

Date of publication: 11 February 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 Izhma River in the area of responsibility of the Ukhta-1 oil pumping station of the Ukhta Regional Oil Pipeline Directorate.

According to the drill scenario, an emergency pressure drop occurred in the riverbed, at the 407.8 km of the Usa — Ukhta oil pipeline underwater crossing, for an unknown reason. Oil transportation was “stopped”, the emergency section was cut off by closing the stop valves.  As ordered by the dispatcher, a patrol group arrived to inspect the oil trunk pipeline, which revealed an oil “release” onto the water surface. The simulated oil spill location was marked with signs and warning posters.

The crews of emergency line maintenance divisions (ELMD) and the central maintenance division (CMD) managed to contain the simulated oil release on the water surface and eliminate the consequences of the emergency subject to the oil leakage containment and elimination plan (OLCEP). Environmental analysis was performed.

The personnel’s tasks included installation of winter booms at the containment boundaries. The river width at the crossing location is 150 metres, with the maximum current speed of 0.64 m/s, and the river depth is 2.37 metres. Transneft North employees installed a total of 300 m of booms. 37 persons from among the personnel of the Ukhta-1 OPS’ ELMD and the Sindor OPS’ ELMD, as well as the Ukhta central maintenance division, the chemical analysis laboratory group, the Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Security Division, were involved in the drills. 9 motor and special-purpose vehicles were used.

It was noted in the follow-up of the ERD that the operational repair personnel and dispatchers had successfully coped with their tasks. The employees fully confirmed their readiness to promptly spot the location of a possible incident, preclude the emergency from escalating and properly utilise the relevant technical means.


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