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The operations in Bereznyakovsky quarry of Chelyabinsk Oblast endangers the oil trunk pipeline and public safety

December 15, 2016/ 11:25

Moscow. November 14, 2016 in the Yetkulsky district of Chelyabinsk Oblast in close proximity to the oil trunk pipelines Ust-Balyk–Kurgan–Ufa–Almetyevsk (UBKUA) and the Nizhnevartovsk-Kurgan-Kuybyshev (NKK) ground fracturing activity took place endangering the integrity of the said oil trunk pipelines. The formation of a continuous fissure over 100 meters in length was caused by the operations of Uzhuralzoloto Group of Companies (UGK) JSC.

UGK performs the Bereznyakovsky quarry (Bereznyakovskoe gold-bearing placer) open-cut mining with the extensive use of explosives. In addition, the quarry’s northern edge is set in violation of the established zone of minimally acceptable distances to the UBKUA oil pipeline’s axis. This transcontinental oil pipeline was put in operation in 1970-s and is one of the largest trunks transporting oil from the Western Siberia’s fields to the European part of Russia, informs the press service of Transneft.

Transneft Urals has repeatedly demanded to stop the Bereznyakovsky quarry operation and to reinforce the walls in order to prevent collapsing of the ground. November 24, 2016 this issue was tabled by the meeting of Chelyabinsk Oblast government’s committee for emergency prevention, response and fire safety. From the meeting’s outcome UGK was advised to develop measures aimed to preserve the oil pipelines from the hazardous impact of the mining operations as well as to perform activities for reinforcing the Bereznyakovsky quarry’s northern wall to prevent landslides.

Yet UGK resumed its works resulting in the fracture of the quarry’s wall and adjacent ground with the formation of a continuous fissure over 100 meters long. Furthermore, the fissure is located within 22.5 m from the UBKUA oil trunk pipeline’s centerline. The aggravation of this situation is fraught with further ground movements and consequent disturbance of oil trunk pipelines integrity that can entail human casualties, considerable property damage and large-scale environmental damage for entire Chelyabinsk Oblast.

Transneft Urals insists on the shutdown of Bereznyakovsky gold-bearing placer operations.

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