Tundra oil spill

This time, the spilled Kharyaga oil did not reach the Kolva river, representatives of Lukoil say. Here from a training event.

A pipeline near the Kharyaga field started leaking oil resulting in a second spill on the local Nenets tundra in less than a year.


The spill happened on the 26 April following a loss of pressure in one of the pipelines leading to the field, reports. The spill is the second in half a year. As previously reported, at least 3,5 square kilometers of tundra was polluted on the site in early October 2012, then also by a loss of pressure in a pipeline installation.

A total of 20 experts now work on site to clean up the oil, and 16 cubic meters of oil substances have already been removed, the Nenets regional government informs. The polluted area stretches over about two hectars of land. The spilled oil has reportedly not reached any of the nearby rivers and streams.  

The Kharyaga field holds about 160 million tons of oil. Lukoil operates four of the six field layers, while a consortium of Total (40%) Statoil (30%), Zarubezhneft (20%) and the Nenets Oil Company (10%) operates the remaining two layers. Production in 2012 amounted to about 1,5 million tons.

The two recent spills might be connected with the new pipelines laid in the area. Seeking new export route for their oil, Lukoil recently connected Kharyaga with existing pipelines in the area. A new 156 km long pipeline connection from Kharyaga to Lukoil’s Varandey terminal on the Pechora Sea coast was opened in fall 2012.