A recent oil spill in the Russian Arctic may cost as much as 1 billion rubles ($13 million) in damage, experts told the Izvestia newspaper.
Authorities in the republic of Komi declared an emergency on May 14 after the spill at the Oshskoye field, operated by a subsidiary of oil giant Lukoil, in the neighboring Nenets autonomous district spread into local soil and waterways.
At first, Lukoil reported that 20 tons of oil had spilled into local soil and waterways, but a few days later authorities said that number was closer to 90 tons. The spill on land has been largely contained, but nine tons of crude oil reached the Kolva river, Lukoil estimated.
If nine tons of oil reached the river, the government is likely to assess damage at around 700 million rubles, Andrei Loboda from the Humanity social project told Izvestia. However, that figure could rise to 1 billion rubles if the pollution has spread from the Kolva to the Usa and Pechora rivers.
Russia’s environmental protection watchdog Rosprirodnadzor told Izvestia that it is waiting for results of analyses of water and soil samples from the affected area before it estimates the cost of the damage.