On March 12, 2015, Transneft East, LLC, and Chinese PetroChina Pipeline Jiageaqi oil and gas transportation company conducted a joint emergency response drill (ERD) on the Amur River.
In accordance with instructions, at 05:00 a.m. Moscow time (at 10:00 a.m. Beijing time) the dispatcher’s console at the Dzhalinda acceptance and delivery site (a subdivision of Transneft East, LLC) received an alarm signal of an emergency pressure drop below the acceptable value on the main line of the oil trunk pipeline underwater crossing (OTPLUWC) on the Amur River of the Skovorodino – Mohe oil trunk pipeline. An appropriate message was forwarded to the operative and dispatch services of Transneft East, LLC, and to the Chinese colleagues from the Mohe PS. According to the legend, the operator stopped oil pumping at this section. A rapid response team was sent to the place of the simulated accident to determine the cause of the pressure drop and identify the location of the possible damage to the oil pipeline.
On the Russian side, the response teams, formed from among line pipeliners, foremen, electricians, drivers, included 26 persons. In addition to the main production specialization, they have the status of emergency response team officers. The right of each of them to participate in elimination of accident consequences at the facilities of oil pipeline transport is confirmed by a certificate issued by the LEOS center («local emergency oil spill») located in the Town of Zhukovsky of the Moscow Region.
Not more than 20 minutes in total are given for mobilization during ERD. During this time, security protection is installed, mobile radio communications are organized, the fighting crew of a volunteer fire brigade is developed at the site of oil spill containment and elimination.
According to the actual scenario, the oil pipeliners had to collect 2,045 cu.m. of hydrocarbons from the water surface. The first line of interception of the conventional oil is located at 500 meters downstream from the oil pipeline underwater crossing section. At the stage of «elimination», the Russian and Chinese oil pipeliners installed simultaneously oil booms, prepared ice channels for their placement. Special holes – lanes – were cut in the ice to facilitate installation of oil recovery equipment.
Environmental specialists worked in parallel with the group of rapid response. Under the condition of «oil spill», they conducted a test gas analysis of the air at the site of the simulated accident, took samples of water.
Such emergency response drills have been conducted at least twice a year after commissioning of the Skovorodino – Mohe oil pipeline in 2010.
«We and our Chinese colleagues are guided during our activities by the Oil Spill Response Plan for the OTPLUWC at the Amur River. Besides, prior to each ERD, the parties develop and coordinate a program of a joint emergency response drill. Strict adherence to all its items allowed us to achieve good results once again. Whereas the standard time to eliminate an oil spill makes four hours, we achieve results in a shorter time – today, we coped with the accident in three and a half hours», – said Aleksey Sayenkov, Head of the Dzhalinda acceptance and delivery site – a subdivision of Transneft East, LLC. He also pointed out the good coordination in the actions of both parties. «An absolute understanding between the team members allows us to achieve the results that we seek», – concluded Aleksey Sayenkov.