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On November7, 2008 there were 80 years to the “Grozny-Tuapse” oil pipeline built in accordance with the designs and under the technical guidance of Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov, Academician, constructor of the first domestic oil pipelines and equipment for the Russia’s oil enterprises.


Sukhov's Pipline

The first domestic “Balakhany-Chyorny gorod” oil pipeline, built by V.G. Shukhov and put into operation in December, 1878 on the territory of the former Russian empire, and now of the modern Azerbaijan, was an enterprise one and was traced into history as a founder of the gigantic net of main pipelines operated nowadays.

After 50 years, in 1928, the 618 km “Grozny-Tuapse” pipeline, the project of which had been offered and substantiated by academician V.G. Shukhov for the transportation of oil from the Grozny area of oil extraction to the Tuapse port on the Black Sea coast, became the first big Russian main pipeline.
The construction of a new oil pipeline began in 1927. The designing and construction of the project were headed by the USSR Gosplan expert-technical commission under the leadership of academician Shukhov. At that moment it was almost the most modern technological structure in the world. It was for the first time that during the designing of a pipeline there were used pipeline loops which enabled to increase its throughput capacity considerably. During the construction of the oil pipeline there were used 10-inch steel tubes of domestic make, and for the connection of tubes on the “Grozny-Tuapse” oil pipeline for the first time in the world there was used the electric-arc welding of tubes with big diameter.

On March 2, 1927 the laying of the oil refinery and of the Tuapse branch of the oil pipeline to Grozny took place. The oil pipeline was built with a very high speed and already by the end of the year all 11 pump stations were erected.

The “Gropzny-Tuapse” oil pipeline was grand opened by the 11th anniversary of the October Revolution – on November 7, 1928. The grand opening of the oil pier in Tuapse, which defined the further development of the oil-loading area of the Tuapse port, occurred at the same time. On December 5, 1928 the reservoirs of the Tuapse petroleum storage depot received the first oil. On March 29, 1929 the first gasoline tanker “Neftesindikat SSSR” came to Tuapse. In April the trial filling of fuel took place. In 1938, with the start of oil extraction in the Krasnodar area, the head section of the oil pipeline was used as a products pipeline, and through its end section was transported the oil from the Krasnodar fields in the Maikop region to Tuapse.

The Tuapse oil refinery (at present belonging to company “Rosneft”) and the petroleum storage depot overloading oil products to the railway transport and sea crafts (belonging to “Rosneft-Tuapsenefteproduct” Ltd.) were built as elements of the “Grozny-Tuapse” oil pipeline infrastructure.

In its time, thanks to the original technical decisions and the complexity of the project, the “Grozny-Tuapse” oil pipeline was an exemplary one and the technical and technological decisions fine-tuned on it were used during the construction of the “Baku-Batumi” oil pipeline. The “Grozny-Tuapse” oil pipeline operation was stopped in 1968 after there had been built the more modern and profitable “Tikhoretsk-Tuapse” oil pipeline, at present being operated by JSC “Chernomortransneft”. However, some elements of the “Grozny-Tuapse” oil pipeline infrastructure built as far back as during V.G. Shukhov’s time still remain in Maikop and Tuapse. Several Shukhov’s riveted steel reservoirs remain on the territory of the Krasnodar area. Some Shukhov’s structures remain in Tuapse at the oil refinery, petroleum storage depot and in the area of the port oil terminal.

The “Shukhov Tower” Foundation is drawing attention of the public, administrative and commercial bodies to the state protection and restoration of few monuments of industrial culture located in the Krasnodar area. It is necessary to restore the monuments of industrial heritage and promote them as tourist attractions of the region, including the facilities for oil transportation, storage and refinery built according to the projects of Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov.

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