Regional government to undertake big cleanup before gas drilling in Arctic Russia

The Kharasaveyskoye field in the Russian Arctic. (Gazprom)
Regional authorities will spend 100 million rubles on environmental upgrades of tundra lands as Gazprom starts development of its new major Arctic project.

The Yamal-Nenets government intends to initiate a major cleanup operation in Kharasavey, an area on the western shore of Yamal Peninsula, at the same time as natural gas company Gazprom starts the development of huge local hydrocarbon resources, Interfax reports (in Russian).

A total of 100 million rubles (€1.32 million) is likely to be allocated to the purpose, regional Governor Dmitry Artyukhov said.

The area is scattered with garbage and scrap metal from an abandoned settlement built in the 1970s.

“The sum is big, because the volumes are big,” Artyukhov made clear in a meeting.

Regional Yamal-Nenets authorities have previously engaged in similar clean-up on the Bely and Vilkitsky islands in the Kara Sea.

Gazprom in July this year announced that construction works at Kharasavey will start in 2019 and be completed in 2023. That includes the laying of a 100 km long pipeline to Bovanenkovo, the nearby field and infrastructure hub.

Giant offshore gas field

The Kharasavey holds 2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and production will amount to 32 billion cubic meters per year. Parts of the field are located offshore in the Kara Sea.

Preparations are underway and housing quarters for the project workers are already on site in Bovanenkovo, Gazprom informs. A total of 1,5 million tons of construction materials will be shipped to site, in summertime through a sea port facility on the Kara Sea coast. In winter time, the goods will be transported with the railway connection to Bovanenkovo, and from there with trucks.

In the course of late summer 2018, about 700 tons of construction goods were shipped on barges from Nadym and all the way to Kharasavey, company subsidiary Gazprom Dobycha Nadym informs.

Among the goods to be transported to site are big volumes of pipelines.

According to newspaper Kommersant (in Russian), Gazprom Dobycha Nadym announced a tender on natural gas pipes for the project worth 11,6 billion rubles (€153 million).

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Oil production returns after two-year pause in Norman Wells, northern Canada, CBC News

Finland: Gold mining in northern Finland hurts reindeer, says Natural Resources Institute, Yle News

Norway: Equinor strikes oil near Johan Castberg field in Norwegian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s Gazprom wants to build manmade islands for Arctic drilling, but will it clean up when it’s done?, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden reluctantly greenlights construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Radio Sweden

United States: US Gov preparing for oil exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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