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The Siberian Times

Fears over Sakhalin oil spill amid contrary claims on size of disaster

By Olga Gertcyk
04 March 2016

Leading oil producer Rosneft burns spilled oil to 'minimise ecological damage'.

'Volunteers informed us about over 300-tons oil spill about 700m away from residential area of Ekhabi village.' Picture: Sakhalin Info

Local ecologists on the Russian Far East island accused the oil giant of understating the scale of spill from an idled pipeline the Ekhabi oilfield in northern Sakhalin. Rosneft put the spill at 15 tonnes - 100 barrels - in the floodplain of the Gilyako-Abunan River, and environmental regulator Rosprirodnadzor said it covered an area of more than 3,500 square metres.

But Dmitry Lisitsin, an activist at a local ecological watchdog in Sakhalin, claimed the size of the spill was some 300 tonnes. 'They started to burn the spilled oil, people see massive plumes of black smoke,' he told Reuters.  

He added: 'Volunteers informed us about over 300-tons oil spill about 700m away from residential area of Ekhabi village. According to our information, part of oil made it to the river.'

Oil spill on Sakhalin


Oil spill on Sakhalin


Oil spill on Sakhalin


Oil spill on Sakhalin

 'They started to burn the spilled oil, people see massive plumes of black smoke.' Pictures: Sakhalin Info

Greenpeace activist Vladimir Chuprov said: 'This is a large spill, and the problem is of a systemic nature.'

The spill involves a Rosneft daughter company RN-Sakhalinmorneftegaz LLC which is now under investigation by local prosecutors. 

A Rosprirodnadzor statement said: 'According to preliminary data, the spill volume is about 15 tonnes and the area is over 3,500 square metres. Local residents found the spill. 

'Ignition of oil products took place after the discovery. Oil ingress into water was not registered but such hazard may occur if water level rises because of melting snow. The spill is just 150 metres away from the water.'

Comments (1)

Thank you for raising awareness of this spill as well as the potential systemic nature of these occurrences. I hope people will voluntarily change their behavior but if necessary, involuntarily through penalties. I hope the environmental agency has both the authority and political support to take any necessary actions.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
07/03/2016 20:47
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