1,000 barrels of oil spilled in Russia's far east

By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 3, 2016 at 9:35 AM
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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia, March 3 (UPI) -- A subsidiary of Russian oil company Rosneft said Thursday about 1,000 barrels of oil were spilled at an oil field on Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East.

Rosneft said the subsidiary was burning off oil spilled from the Ekhabi oil reserve after local residents discovered the leakage. Russian environmental regulator Rosprirodnadzor said it estimated the spill volume at around 1,000 barrels.

"Oil migration into the water was not registered, though such a hazard may occur if the water level rises because of melting snow," the regulator said in a statement. "The spill is just 500 feet away from water."

Rosneft started production from the nearby Arkutun-Dagi field last year. The field should have a peak production rate of about 32 million barrels of oil.

Russia has put some of its energy focus on eastern markets, where slow but steady growth is expected to yield greater demand. With new oil coming from its Far East operations, Rosneft said last year it estimated tax revenues from the field would add about $9 million to state and regional budgets.

Lower crude oil prices have put pressure on the Russian economy. Rosneft may be the target of a privatization agenda.

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