Russia mulls tougher action against oil polluters of Arctic coast

Prirazlomnaya platform. (Gazprom)
Prirazlomnaya platform. (Gazprom)
Legislation on oil spills along the country’s vulnerable northern coast should be no less strict than in open Arctic waters, the country’s Presidential Envoy on Environment argues.

It is unreasonable that the legal protection of the Arctic coast is the less stringent one for nearby open waters, the Russian Special representative on environment Sergey Ivanov maintains.

He now calls for tougher action against oil companies polluting coastal areas, Neftegaz reports.

With the initiative of Ivanov, the current differentiation in federal legislation between coastal areas and the shelf might soon come to an end.

Also the Ministry of Natural Resources has raised concern about oil companies’ lack of preparedness to clean up spills and concealment of accidents, Neftegaz reports.

Several companies are currently engaged in new oil and gas projects along the Russian Arctic coast. Among them is Rosneft which is expected to conduct an exploration drilling in the Khatanga Bay, an area by the Laptev Sea, this year. Gazprom Neft is currently developing its Novy Port project in the Gulf of Ob and from before operates the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea. Meanwhile, Novatek will soon launch production in its Yamal LNG project.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Arctic offshore drilling too dangerous: Trudeau, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland carbon neutral by 2045 says country’s environment minister, Yle News

Norway: Norway proposes massive opening of Arctic shelf to oil drilling, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: European Parliament calls for ban on oil drilling in icy waters, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Big growth for Russian Arctic oil in 2016, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish government unveils new climate law, Radio Sweden

United States: A northern Alaska oil discovery just got a lot bigger, company says, Alaska Dispatch News

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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