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Spill Dumps 2,200 Tons of Oil in Arctic

Greenpeace estimates that 5 million tons of oil leak from Russian pipelines and in accidents annually. Above, an oil rig in the Leningrad region.

A weekend oil spill at the Trebs and Titov field operated by a joint venture between Bashneft and LUKoil saw about 2,200 tons leak across 5 square kilometers of Arctic terriotry, Interfax reported Monday.

The 25-meter high gusher that began on Friday was not brought under control for more than a day. Investigators looking into the incident have not yet ascertained its cause but a regional official said that human error was to blame.

"The accident happened as a result of insufficiently prepared teams, a lack of essential equipment — in other words it was local disorganization," said Vladimir Tsybin, head of the local administration's department of natural resources and ecology.

Greenpeace estimates that 5 million tons of oil leak from Russian pipelines and in accidents every year — the equivalent of seven disasters on the scale of BP's Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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