Russia pipeline company beefs up security

Decision follows explosion Tuesday at Ukrainian gas pipeline.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   June 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM   |   Comments

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MOSCOW, June 20 (UPI) -- Russian pipeline company Transneft said Friday it set up a special entity to deal with security for its pipeline infrastructure.

Transneft said it will set up 13 separate branches of the security division to ensure oil and oil products are delivered safely.

No injuries were reported in an explosion Tuesday along the Urengoi-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline in the Poltava region of Ukraine. Ukrainian utility company Naftogaz said earlier this week it would ramp up security on its infrastructure in its territory.

Ukraine said it was looking into whether the explosion was sparked by an act of terrorism.

Military tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, erupted in November when the government in Kiev moved closer to joining the European Union.

The tensions have spilled over into the European energy sector. European consumers get about a quarter of their gas needs met by Russia, though most of those supplies run through the Soviet-era gas transit network in Ukraine.

A natural gas pipeline running from the Ukrainian city of Odessa was set on fire during May clashes in the city.

The western port city is the starting point of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline.

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