The spill, apparently one of the biggest in several years, is now threatening to seriously disrupt major parts of the vulnerable waterways in the Komi and Nenets tundra and ruin life conditions for local inhabitants. According to Greenpeace, at least 500 tons of oil is now spreading from the Kolva River into the adjacent rivers of Pechora and Usa.
The spill reportedly happened already on the 22 May. However, information about the accident became known to the press only several days later.
According to the local Emergency Situations Authority in the city of Usinsk, an oil spill preparedness plan has been put into action and more than 100 people and about 30 special equipment units have been sent to the affected areas.
In addition, locals are requested to assist and are being offered 10000 RUB for each barrel of cleaned-up oil, Energyland.info reports.
However, the local environmental group Save the Pechora Committee now calls on regional and national authorities to declare a state of emergency in the area.
Local settlements are being badly hit by the oil. According to an inhabitant “it smells oil all over the place, and both children and adults are days and nights breathing in it”.
Head of Greenpeace Russia’s Energy Programme, Vladimir Chuprov, now fears that the spilled oil will run all through the great Pechora River and end up in the Pechora Sea and the Arctic Ocean.
“The Komi spill again demonstrates the complete helplessness of the authorities and the lack of protection of the local population”, Chuprov says.
It was long not known where exactly the oil came from. However, according to Usinsk city authorities, the company RusVietPetro, a joint venture of Zarubezhneft and Petrovietnam, is to blame. The oil spilled from a pipeline crossing over a local stream.
RusVietPetro is operating the Tsentralno-Khoreverskoye structure which includes four major blocks in the Timan-Pechora province, first of all in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.