Exxon, Rosneft eye oil in nuclear wasteland

Exxon Mobil and Rosneft are planning to drill for oil in the Kara Sea, which the Soviet Union used as a dumping ground for radioactive material for more than 25 years, according to OilPrice.com. 

By , Guest blogger

  • close
    A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas, in this September 2008 file photo. Exxon Mobil and Rosneft are planning to drill in a former nuclear dump which is estimated to hold enough oil to supply the world for five years, Burgess writes.
    View Caption

It has been well documented that oil majors from around the world are looking at oil exploration in the Arctic, where they believe that some of the largest untapped fields in the world still lie. Environmentalists have been fighting efforts to start exploring for oil, fearing that any serious oil spill could mean the destruction of one of the last pristine wildernesses on the planet.

In the Kara Sea, where Exxon Mobil and Rosneft are planning to drill a region which is estimated to hold enough oil to supply the world for five years, environmentalists have a new reason to fear for the environment; nuclear radiation. (RELATED: Oil is Not Looking So Hot)

The Kara Sea is so remote that the Soviet Union used it as a dumping ground for radioactive material for more than 25 years. The two oil companies have avoided calls for the nuclear waste, estimated to consist of over 17,000 barrels of radioactive waste, worn-out reactors, and even an old nuclear submarine, to be cleared up before any exploration takes place.
Scientists from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) will soon present the results from their first survey in the area for 18 years, to determine whether or not the radiation is stable or increasing.
Rosneft released a statement to try and reassure the public that “all ecological and nature protection norms are being followed at the same time,” using “the the best world practices available.”

Recommended: Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz.

The most dangerous item down on the sea floor in that area is the K-27 nuclear submarine, which was dumped their by the Soviet navy in 1981. The NRPA said that any significant corrosion could damage the ships reactor and cause an environmental disaster. (RELATED: Big Oil Funding U.S. Politics)
Per Strand, a director at the NRPA, warned that “there might be a hypothetical possibility that the spent nuclear fuel in the reactor in extreme situations can cause an uncontrolled chain reaction, which can lead to heat and radioactivity releases.”
Igor Kudrik, an ecologist from Norwegian campaign group Bellona, suggests that “oil companies should make sure that the area is swiped clean of nuclear waste before they start any oil exploration activity.”

 

Source: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Exxon-Rosneft-Plan-to-Drill-for-Oil-in-Old-Soviet-Nuclear-Dumping-Ground.html 

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best energy bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...