RUSSIALINK: “Storm, rains near Novorossiysk help reduce pollution in Black Sea after oil product spill – WWF” – Interfax

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

MOSCOW. Aug 13 (Interfax) – The concentration of oil products in the Black Sea following a spill in the area of Novorossiysk is decreasing due to a storm and heavy rains, the head of the WWF Russia program for corporate environmental responsibility, Alexei Knizhnikov told Interfax on Friday.

“There is a very strong storm happening now in the vicinity of Novorossiysk accompanied by heavy rain. These natural factors help the oil pollution to more quickly mix with the water, the concentration of oil products in the sea decreases and the slick disappears,” Knizhnikov said.

Thus, natural phenomena in the vicinity of Novorossiysk are helping to reduce the danger of local concentrated oil product pollution.

“We believe that the worst is already behind us. The threats were real, but the stormy weather, by our estimates, reduced this threat,” Knizhnikov said.

According to CPC, on August 7, at 4:49 pm Moscow time, oil seeped at the consortium’s Marine Terminal in Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka while loading the Minerva Symphony tanker, which operates under the Greek flag and is based at the port of Piraeus, at the SPM No. 1. Damage to the internal cavity of a hydraulic compensator, which is an integral part of a single point mooring (SPM), caused oil to seep, it said. Imodco of Monaco supplied the equipment.

CPC said it promptly engaged resources and equipment of the professional emergency response unit, including 17 vessels and booms, and four skimmers and oil storage tanks, to deal with the spill. Interaction was organized with the proper specialized governmental regulatory authorities.

The oil spill was localized on August 7, at 10:42 pm Moscow time. The oil-spill response was completed, and operations are underway to monitor the Black Sea, the consortium said. In order to measure the condition of the water and air, independent laboratories have been engaged, and they are to conduct sampling in the areas adjacent to the marine terminal.

The spill area has covered around 200 square meters, at a volume of about 12 cubic meters, the CPC said.

The Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) said in a statement on Wednesday that the spill was 400,000 times larger than the CPC had claimed.

[article also appeared at interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/72460/]