«Gazprom neft shelf» can't assess environmental risks during Prirazlomnoe oilfield exploration because of going-by the effective collaboration with public
Prirazlomnoe oilfield is the first Russian development project in the Arctic. In Pechora Sea the giant construction – oil platform holding 100 000 tons of oil - will be installed. The project is realized by the “Gazprom” daughterly company – “Gazprom neft shelf”. Long years needed for the building of this huge structure, which is now situated in Murmansk Port. Oil managers plan to get it for installation to the oilfield by the end of this summer.
Such complicated project can’t but concern environmentalists. The place, where the platform will be situated – Pechora Sea (Southern-East part of the Barents Sea) is the valuable and vulnerable Russian Arctic area. This territory is the key habitat for white whales and Atlantic walrus. Marine ducks actively use rich feeding resources of shallow waters. Sandpiper and goose in plenty can be met in so called laida – high reproductive intermediate zone between sea and tundra.
The Russian Birds Conservation Union registed public environmental assessment in December, 2010, but experts couldn’t get project documents for evaluation. During more then 2 months “Gazprom neft shelf” declined to give documentation for environmental assessment. They only agree to acquaint environmentalists with it only in their office in particular time without copying rights. Evidently, that in this conditions experts (some of them living out of Moscow) don’t have a chance for full reviewing needed materials.
“Instead of responsible dialog for risks evaluation and for reduction of negative impact, instead of using NGOs’ experience and knowledge in case of animals conservation, instead of discussion of actual problems connected with oil spill liquidation oil managers prefer to eat up the clock to get State Environmental Assessment conclusion without qualified opinion of leading Russian environmental NGOs. Such practice goes against with best international standards,’- said Vadim Krasnopolsky, WWF Barents Sea Office Oil and Gas Coordinator.