^ Image “Crude Oil” courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Russia attempts to contain an oil spill in the Black Sea. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at this developing news.
Tuapse is a busy oil and industrial port located near Black Sea resorts in southwestern Russia. Tuapse is just miles from Sochi, which is famous for hosting 2014’s Winter Olympics. In the 20th century, the seaport city grew into a major stop for repairing ships and refining and exporting oil.
On Christmas Eve, however, the city has had to declare a state of emergency following an oil spill. It has been reported by Chernomor Transneft, a subsidiary of Russian oil transport company Transneft, that a pipeline near the city had burst due to a landslide. The broken section of the pipeline is situated around 9 kilometers from the coast of the Black Sea. The wall of the pipeline ruptured, causing oil to leak into the Tupase River and consequently, the Black Sea the river empties into. In a statement, it has been claimed that 8.4 cubic meters had leaked out, though environmentalists claim a more accurate figure could be 100 times greater.
The bleak weather only complicated efforts made by the Russian authorities at cleaning up. Measures of containing the damage included the use of floating barriers. The sea and river transport agency reported a mission was launched, but was hampered by stormy weather. According to the Kasnodar government website, waves reached up to 10 feet high. It has also been reported that the weather prevented the safe use of boats.
Criticism on Response
The World Wildlife Fund (“WWF”) claimed the spill had already affected 15 kilometers of the shore, and criticized Rosneft and Transneft of being slow to understand the immediacy of the situation and to act promptly. According to the organization, the companies should have immediately alerted the authorities, as opposed to the hours’ long delay.
We at Kemplon Engineering sympathize with those who are immediately affected by this emergency, and hope for better outcomes at containment and clean-up efforts. We also hope that the long-term impacts may be minimal to the ecology of the Black Sea.
^ Nazarov, Maxim and Gleb Gorodyankin. “Oil Spills Into Black Sea Near Russian Port.” Maritime Executive, 24 Dec 2014. Web. 04 Jan 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/oil-spills-into-black-sea-near-russian-port
^ “Russia battles to contain Black Sea oil spill.” Channel News Asia, 26 Dec 2014. Web. 04 Jan 2015. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/russia-battles-to-contain/1549740.html
^ “Tuapse.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. Accessed 04 Jan 2015. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/608088/Tuapse