Pipeline reliability and emergency preparedness


TO 30.4% (2016: 23.6%)
Pipeline reliability and emergency preparedness

Management system

Our goals

LUKOIL operates a well-developed field pipeline system, including the longest offshore pipeline system among Russian oil and gas companies (over 550 km in length). We consistently carry out work to mitigate pipeline failure risks, and have in place a well-run reliability management system for oilfield and mainline pipelinesThe information in this section pertains to the Russian entities of LUKOIL Group..

We are fully aware of the negative consequences that can arise as a result of pipeline disruption. To prevent potential disruptions to equipment integrity, we continuously monitor the condition of pipeline systems and use a number of methods to prevent intentional and unintentional damage caused by third parties, including modern leak detection systems, as well as the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to fly over pipeline routes.

Our goal: stabilization and reduction of accidents in pipeline transportIt was approved in the work plan of the Network Group «Improving the reliability of field and tubing» by PJSC LUKOIL dated January 25, 2019.. To prevent potential incidents, we apply an integrated approach, including the following activities:

  • timely diagnostics, with a ranking of risks of detected anomalies and defects;
  • applying corrosion inhibitor and electrochemical protection;
  • introducing pipes with internal protective coatings and pipes made of innovative and alternative materials.

Technical diagnostics and corrosion monitoring are regularly performed as part of preventive measures. Based on the results of inspections, repair work is carried out, if necessary, and potentially hazardous areas are identified, for example, in mountainous areas at LUKOIL Uzbekistan Operating Company sites.

In order to prevent spills and to reduce environmental impacts, the Company prepares pipelines for the autumn-winter season and spring floods, LUKOIL Group oil and gas production companies annually develop and implement measures in advance. Such measures include an inspection of line shut-off valves and block valve stations, with more frequent check-ups (inspections), especially in areas of potential flooding or water cut-off zones, as well as inspections and the preparation of tools to remedy emergency oil spills.

In the event of a pipeline failure, response tools are used to contain it quickly (the average response time after an event is detected is between four and six hours, depending on the distance and weather conditions).


Owing to the active measures being taken, at the end of 2019 we see an improvement in all indicators characterizing the state of the LUKOIL pipeline system.

In 2019, the failure rate decreased in relation to 2018 by 12%. This dynamic was driven by the prompt replacement of pipe sections that were identified defective (all such sections are to be replaced) and a rise in the share of pipes with a longer service life. In 2019 the share of replaced pipelines was 2.4%.

  • When replacing sections of pipelines, more than 60% of the pipes are delivered to facilities in an anti-corrosion coating. They have an extended service life and do not require frequent periodic repairs, which significantly reduces operating costs.
  • In-line inspections of interfield pipelines have become more common, and provide highly reliable data and allow the residual life of pipelines to be assessed more accurately.
  • The number of inspections of pipeline transport facilities and the number of maintenance personnel increased. Unmanned control and monitoring methods are used, including the use of devices with internal combustion engines, which can operate in the Far North.
  • Efforts were stepped up to improve quality control in the area of supplied pipes: requirements for non-metallic inclusions in pipes were developed; inspections of products, audits of manufacturers’ plants (including unscheduled ones), and observations were performed; and recommendations on the implementation of control methods and techniques were made. If quality violations are repeated, the supplier is added to the register of bad-faith suppliers (‘blacklist’), and is not permitted to take part in tender procedures.
  • Continuous work is carried out to maintain a competitive environment among suppliers of tubular products with an internal protective coating: bypass experimental field tests of new types of protective coatings followed by issuing expert opinions on the conformity of the products to the technical requirements of PJSC LUKOIL.
Reliability indicators of Russian pipeline system
2017 2018 2019
Specific coefficient of pipeline failuresPipeline failure means a failure of performance associated with a sudden total or partial shutdown of the pipeline due to break of airtightness of the pipeline itself or shut-off and control valves or a blockage of the pipeline. A pipeline failure does not always entail a spill of oil, oil products or formation water, as well as a gas leak. The calculation uses the total length of pipelines (oil pipelines, gas pipelines and water pipelines). failure/km/year 0.117 0.092 0.081
Share of corrosion-resistant pipelines, % 25.2 26.8 30.4
Volume of oil and oil products spilled in accidents, tonnes 220 32 16
Specific coefficient of spills (kg of spilled oil and oil products per thousand tonnes of extracted oil and gas condensate) 2.7 0.4 0.2

Note. A specific coefficient is calculated based on the volume of oil and gas condensate production in Russia (net of the share in related entities).

Improvement strategy

The network group continues to search for solutions with which the Company will be able to achieve its goals of improving the reliability of pipeline transport.

Alternative piping. We see the use of pipes made of alternative materials (non-metallic) with a standard service life of 30 to 50 years as a major potential area of improvement for pipeline sections exposed to corrosion. In 2019 the length of non-metallic pipes stood at 3,058 km. Bimetal pipes also have an extended service life and are of higher reliability, as they are made of high-strength steel grades.

Pilot tests of new pipes made of alternative materials are carried out at LUKOIL-Western Siberia and RITEK facilities; and bypass (bench) tests of bimetal pipes are being conducted in the Komi Republic.

New technologies and equipment. In 2019 LUKOIL was the first company to successfully test the Russian technology “Beluga” in underwater repairs of offshore pipelines. We had been involved in developing this technology for three years. Now, if necessary, repairs can be performed quickly, without the need to halt product pumping.

Another innovation was the introduction of leak detection and unauthorized access systems. Self-operated pressure regulators are installed at vulnerable pipeline sections, preventing damage from dynamic internal shocks. This solution significantly boosts the operational reliability of high-pressure water pipes and pipelines in a hostile environment. The equipment has already been delivered to the Komi Republic and to RITEK facilities, and it is planned to roll out its use as a best practice.

Pipe labeling. Company experts suggested the use of pipe labeling (a product labeled by the respective manufacturer). This will help in tracing products, including their reliability and quality indicators. An industry working group has been set up at RSPP to handle this issue.

Emergency and incident preparedness

LUKOIL pays considerable attention to ensuring a high level of emergency preparedness. It fully complies with relevant laws of the Russian Federation and other countries where the Company operates. LUKOIL takes measures annually to maintain and improve the skills of emergency rescue units.

Plans are in place for all facilities that can pose potential sources of emergency situations, with a view to preventing and eliminating oil and petroleum product spillsIn accordance with the Regulations on the Development of Action Plans for the Containment and Elimination of Emergencies at Hazardous Production Facilities, approved by Russian Government Decree No. 730 dated 26 August 2013.. Respective documents contain all the required information to facilitate rapid responses and effective interaction among those involved in rescue operations, specifically:

  • potential emergency scenarios on site;
  • the resources required to contain and eliminate an emergency, the steps required to involve professional emergency rescue units; system of interaction among rescue forces and use of resources;
  • how to ensure a state of constant readiness for emergency containment and elimination;
  • the organization of management, communications, and notifications in the event of an emergency;
  • information exchange system among the people involved;
  • priority actions to be taken when an emergency alert is received;
  • measures to ensure public safety;
  • the organization of procurement, engineering, and financial support for emergency management operations at a facility.

The priority areas of work in this area include establishing and developing our own emergency rescue units consisting of the most experienced staff at the facilities. 2,063 people made up five professional full-time emergency rescue units and 43 non-staff emergency rescue units in 2019. A necessary level of unit readiness is maintained by ensuring that they are equipped with modern technical resources and by improving skills related to rescue operations.

The most effective training activities are practical exercises and trainings, which help ensure a high level of readiness among governing bodies and personnel, as well as technical readiness. Annual trainings at federal and regional levels are conducted, including to eliminate gas, water, and oil inflows as well as open blow-outs at oil and gas condensate fields. A special emphasis is placed on conducting trainings at LUKOIL marine and river terminals and oil production facilities.

In order to boost knowledge levels and professional skills and to build team spirit and raise the status of rescuers, a second professional skills contest was held in 2019 for employees from non-staff emergency rescue units of the Company. This event was part of the 10th Professional Excellence Competition of LUKOIL Group employees for the title Best in the Profession, and was held at the Corporate Training Center. Fourteen teams from oil and gas producing, refining, and transport entities of the Group took part.

Indicators of Russian LUKOIL Group entities’ preparedness for emergencies
2017 2018 2019
Number of trainings conducted, including on: 193 178 200
  • the elimination of an oil/oil product spill
109 91 117
Number of staff involved in trainings, people 6,640 5,810 6,692
Number of site drills 10,566 11,996 10,739
Number of staff involved in drills, people 75,649 88,300 97,852