Transneft East has conducted an emergency response drill (ERD) in the area where the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline system runs in Irkutsk Region. The area is characterised by boggy soils with low bearing capacity.
The goal was to train employees of the Lensk Regional Oil Pipeline Directorate (RPD) for quick containment and elimination of an emergency situation in hard-to-reach areas.
According to the ERD scenario, the operator recorded a “pressure drop” at the 333.8 km section of the ESPO in Nizhneilimskiy District. The cause of the accident was a simulated crack in the longitudinal weld of the pipe. The "oil spill" was in a boggy area, where the bog is about 3 m deep.
Oil transportation was “stopped”. Patrol crews discovered a “damage” at the oil pipeline, enclosed the "accident" site and checked block valves for closing. The “accident” was reported to Transneft East's emergency commission, supervisory and controlling authorities.
To perform works on cutting the “defective section” at the oil pipeline, a pit was dug out. In order to strengthen the walls and minimise the inflow of groundwater into the pit, a special fence made of a metal profile was installed. With the help of oil skimmers, the specialists collected "oil" from the surface of the boggy area, as well as "contaminated soil".
86 employees of emergency line maintenance divisions (ELMDs) of PS-4, PS-3, the Bratsk and the Talakan Central Maintenance Divisions, the Bratsk detachment, the Bratsk brigade, the Bratsk utility vehicle and special-purpose machinery department and Svyaztransneft were involved in the drill. More than 50 units of vehicles and specialised equipment were used, including a bulldozer, excavators, a track carrier, vibratory driver and suction dredge. A mobile pavement was installed to deliver the machinery and equipment.
The consequences of the conditional emergency were eliminated promptly and in full. It was concluded that the equipment and technology available to Transneft East ensures efficient performance of a range of emergency recovery works in boggy terrain within the specified timeframe.