Russian mid-sized oil firm Bashneft has halted work at the Trebs oilfield in the Nenets Autonomous Area in the Russian Arctic to investigate a recent oil spill at the site, the regional administration said on Saturday.
“To date, Bashneft has suspended operations for activating exploration wells at the oilfield to analyze the causes of the accident and avoid a repetition in the future,” the administration said.
The accident occurred on April 20 when the company was conducting work to re-enter exploration well 11 at the Trebs oilfield. An oil blowout, which sent oil gushing to a height of 25 meters, was only stopped two days after the accident.
“According to the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources (RosPrirodNadzor), the company may be fined only after oil spill elimination work is carried out,” the administration said.
Emergency response activity is underway on a 24-hour basis, Bashneft said on its website.
“To tackle the problem, 69 units of equipment and 151 employees have been mobilized; the oil spill has been contained, the 21,840 sq. m. area near the well (out of 30,000 sq. m under the plan) has been cleaned up,” the company said. “Five hundred and twenty six cubic meters of oil-containing reservoir fluids (out of 600 cubic meters under the plan) and 1,713 cubic meters of oil-contaminated snow (out of 3,000 cubic meters) have been collected and removed for disposal,” the company said.
Bashneft said the company’s board of directors will take disciplinary action against several senior executives in the wake of the oil spill and remove them from office.
The oil spill occurred on the day Russian Environmental Minister Yury Trutnev threatened legal action against another major Russia oil company, TNK-BP, over oil spills in the Ob and Yenisei Rivers in Siberia.