Greenpeace in Russia: companies have to invest in pipe replacement to avoid oil spills
Moscow. The main requirements that environment specialists set when it comes to oil spills is to make companies invest into pipe replacement. According to what Vladimir Chuprov, the head of Greenpeace Russia Energy Department, told the Oil and Gas Information Agency.
Accidents with oil pipes that lead to spills of oil into lakes, rivers and forests often happen because the pipes are worn out. According to oil companies’ data at least 10 spills happen in Russia daily, over 10 thousand a year. Over 90% of the cases are caused by leaks from corroded oil pipes.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment steel pipelines without anti-corrosion coating can work without leaks for up to 10-15, seldom up to 20 years. At the same time the average age of the field pipelines in Russia is over 30 years.
“The companies just don’t have economic motivation to invest into faulty pipelines and prevent accidents like the ones in Sakhalin”, says Vladimir Chuprov. “The cost of repairing all the pipelines in the country to prevent such spills can be compared to 10% of Russian companies’ net revenue. Fines and environmental damage compensations would amount to approximately the same, if the State controlled oil spills seriously.
Greenpeace Russia reacts to oil spills differently, depending on the situation. The main objective is to persuade the companies that it is necessary to replace worn-out pipes. Besides, the environmental specialists sue relevant agencies.
"We address regulatory agencies concerning particular spills. It is just a drop in the bucket, because we don’t know about all the spills that happen. Though, it’s not our objective to substitute government authorities. What we are trying to do is to make them work”, explains Mr. Chuprov.
As estimated by GreenPeace Russia, Russian companies will have to spend 10% of their net revenue for five-seven years and to replace the worn-out pipes.
Note, The Oil and Gas Information Agency together with the regional exhibition center Yugorsk Contracts will hold the 7th conference Green Technologies in Industry and Subsoil Use on 27 September in Surgut. One of the topics to be discussed is the problem of oil spills and oil pipelines replacement.