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26 Jun, 2007 20:17

Rescue teams train for oil spillages

Russia's second largest oil producer Lukoil has set up a training programme for its emergency services to deal with oil spillages at its sea terminal in the Leningrad region.

Environmental concerns are becoming increasingly important for the oil and gas industry.

If an oil tanker and a fishing boat collide, there could quickly be a fire and an oil spill. That is why regulations are in place requiring emergency and rescue services to respond in 30 minutes.  The priority of the rescue teams is to save those on board first, then to put out the fire and finally contain the oil spill.

International practice shows that it is easier and cheaper to predict and prevent accidents.

In case of a real oil spill the party responsible would have to pay about $US 80,000 for every tonne spilt.

An exercise organized by Lukoil and the Ministry of Emergencies is estimated to cost $US 200,000.  

“There are many difficulties.  There is insufficient funding and the ships are old-fashioned. Also, a lack of skilled workers is a serious problem for us,” estimated rescuer Evgeny Morozov.

“We managed in the required period of time, but all the participants noticed there were not enough rescue boats, and not only here, but in Russia in general,” said Anatoly Barkov, the Vice-President of Lukoil.

In recent times both the state and private businesses have been taking steps to bring the oil industry up to modern international standards.