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We live in an environmental dump

At a large meeting in Krasnobor Izhemtsy demanded the company "LUKOIL-Komi" to suspend its activities in the district until fulfillment of their requirements

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Residents of 15 settlements of the Izhemsky district demanded "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC to stop its work on the territory of the municipality until fulfillment of their requirements. Such a decision was unanimously adopted by participants of the meeting in Krasnobor yesterday, attended by over 200 people. People were outraged by consumer attitude of oilers to the Izhemsk land and violation of environmental regulations. Among the main requirements — unhindered access of the initiative group (six people) to the objects of "LUKOIL" LLC when receiving signals of violation of environmental legislation; a re-hearing in Krasnobor on the construction of oil wells in close proximity to the village, the revision of the social partnership agreement between the district administration and "Lukoil" LLC with the registered Krasnobor costs. Representatives of the extracting company, who were at the meeting, asked the initiative group to formulate a list of issues of concern to people that will be studied and considered within a month. «7x7» presents a report from an emotional meeting in Krasnobor, where people were not afraid to talk about their misfortunes and problems.

Chronology of events


February 26, environmentalists and residents of Krasnobor expressed concern that preparation for the drilling of oil wells began in close proximity to the village.


March 6, an oil spill occurred 100 km away from Izhma on the territory of "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC.


March 31, residents of several villages of the Izhemsky district demanded "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC to suspend its activities on the territory of the municipality.


April 11, deputies of the Izhemsky district Council supported the demands of residents and also demanded the oil company to suspend its work.


* * *

Izhma people deliberately come to the small bus of the ATE. These are those who want to support residents of Krasnobor at a meeting with representatives of "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC. Passage in both directions is free for them.


— Who else is to come? Only 12 people came.


— There is a list. Have a look.


The woman pulls out a paper and begins a roll-call. There are completely different people in the bus: former officials, pensioners, students, working young people.


— There were also young people last time, — deputy of the district council Emilia Bratenkova says.


Woman stresses that at the first general meeting on March 30, where people declaimed against oilers’ activities, residents of Krasnobor were glad to see people from other localities. It was important for them to realize that they were supported. That's why today the transport was also organized.




Meeting with representatives of "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC takes place in the recreation center. People are gradually taking seats in the hall, first — in the back row, then in the middle. Latecomers have to sit in first rows or benches placed in lanes. There are over 200 people, including the head of the Izhemsky district administration Igor Norkin.


Employees of the extracting company take seats in the presidium with a ten-minute delay. They are joined by a chairman of the "Iz'vatas" movement Nikolai Rochev, who was elected as a chairman of the meeting. In his opening speech he stresses that a two weeks old meeting in Krasnobor caused resonance not only in the Republic of Komi, but also outside it.


* * *


“There were no representatives of "LUKOIL" LLC at the meeting. They say they didn’t know [about the meeting]”, Nikolai Rochev says. “On Friday, there were a meeting of the Izhemsky district Council, where deputies supported the demands of the Krasnobor meeting [residents demanded the company to suspend its activities in the district until fulfillment of several requirements]. Today, representatives of the company came from Moscow. I think that it would be a serious conversation. In the end, we’ll work out a solution”.




Upsurge of people’s indignation struck Krasnobor when "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC started preparations for the construction of boreholes in close proximity to the village. The active phase of the protest began when the oil company started to prepare the ground for these works.


The project assumes that three clusters will be built near the settlement: №112 — in 700 meters from houses, №16 — in 2 km, №3 — in 1.7 km. At the same time one of these wells will be located in 820 meters from the local water intake. It is said by a representative of the contractor who prepared the draft drilling for "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC:


"To avoid getting petroleum emulsion into drinking well, we made ​​a 3D map, on which the stems of designed wells are projected together with the barrel of water supply well... As we can see, boreholes are not intersected. There will be no physical ingress of pollutants into the water either during drilling or during operation of wells".


He adds that the drill cuttings will be stored in a special sump (40x40 meters, 3 meters depth). Its bottom will be covered with an impermeable film to prevent ingress of contaminants into the lower layers of solid. When drilling is finished, it is planned to raze the sump and to plant trees.


The man assures that drilling operations won’t affect the quality of water, it will still be clean.


“Why is there a sump drilling next to our village? Many others use a sumpless way,” resident of Krasnobor Olga takes the floor. “I had a negative experience in 2000, when the first oilers came. These were not the representatives of "LUKOIL" LLC. I have been keeping geese for many years. And then one day the geese ran out of the creek, overturned their bellies up. Four geese died in one day. I didn’t know what it is. But when I saw that the rain poured down and the whole lot [of the sump] poured and flowed into a creek... After that, all the trees have dried and blackened. Why can’t you do it a sumpless way?


Representative of the parent company, head of regional communications of "LUKOIL" LLC Vladimir Gerasimov takes a word for awhile. In his speech, he says that he sees no problem in the fact that the company will produce oil in close proximity to Krasnobor, but the problem is that people know little about the process.


“If we clear mind of misunderstandings, thoughts, fears, concerns, if truth be told there is a complexity that we admit and are willing to work to eliminate. This is a lack of awareness of the processes that occur,” the representative of "LUKOIL" LLC says.


Immediately after him Emilia Bratenkova takes the word; she notes that the oil company "attacked the habitat of local residents". After her speech there is applause in the hall for the first time.


* * *


After this speech, people became bolder and began to talk more emotionally. However, not all their claims could be addressed to "LUKOIL" LLC. Residents of the Izhemsky district complained about bad roads, medical undermaintenance, inadequate budgetary system, expensive gasoline and so on. However, most speakers still kept to the point of the meeting.


A teacher of Komi language and literature from the Vertep village, the deputy of Krasnobor made a very emotional speech. She introduced the audience to a few stories from the lives of her neighbors.


“2007. A cow of pensioner Rocheva from the village Pustynya didn’t return home in the evening. She searched until midnight and haven’t found. At 4 a.m. some men knocked and said that on the other side of the pumping in a large pit with oil, salt water, and other unknown waste, they see a cow’s head. Barely pulled out. Hostess long nursed her old fostress, cleared from the oil. Thanks to quality care the cow survived.


2009. The Terentyev’s family from Maly Vertep kept a cow throughout their life. In the evening she didn’t return home. They searched and found near the Shar creek. It was evident that animal was poisoned. Began to save. Fed with sunflower oil, salt water. The cow harfed. The walls and floor were black. It was obviously oil. Cow had had to be slaughtered. They don’t keep cows ever since.


2012. Summer. Boys were fishing near the Shar river. Anoufriev boy brought a few fishes to his grandmother’s cat. A few days later the cat’s belly grew and he barely moved. Had to kill the cat.


2014. March, 30. In one day, a veterinarian was called five times in our village. Cows couldn’t calve, had warps. One cow had to be shot right in the barn...


What should the local population do? Fishing — prohibited. Drinking water is questionable. Mushrooms — absolutely impossible. Cloudberry — impossible, blueberry — impossible, cranberry — impossible, cowberry — impossible.


We live in an environmental dump. No one will buy our houses, built for the ages, even for 20 thousand rubles. We, living with nanotechnology, haven’t built a single building in the Vertep village for 20 years. Couldn’t keep our fostress nature. So, we also became barbarians with this oil company.”




The first of the representatives of the extracting company to talk is director of Territory Production Unit "LUKOIL-Ukhtaneftegaz" Karen Begagaev who briefly describes the plans of the company. According to him, the Izhemsky district is not of great prospects for "LUKOIL". Over the past three years, production volumes decreased from 220 thousand tons to 150 thousand tons. Oil reserves will go far for another 18-20 years. The company has no plans to begin a large-scale construction.


Karen Begagaev repeatedly emphasizes that drilling near Krasnobor won’t be started until the project doesn’t pass the examination. After that, it will be presented at a meeting to residents of Krasnobor.


“Without passing the examination, no one will neither start the construction, nor the arrangement of wells,” the director of "LUKOIL-Ukhtaneftegaz" says. “I don’t presume to assure that there won’t be a new accident. Any metal breaks. Another question is how the company conducts preventive work. Over the past three years the funds for technical diagnostics of a pipeline increased several times. The pipes with corrosion-resistant coating are used”.


Residents are interested in the circumstances of the oil spill on March 6, 100 km away from Izhma. A day after it the people saw a black smoke and a large glow in the side where the oil field is located. Social activists and environmentalists, who visited the site of the spill, recorded traces of fire. In addition, they have questioned the fact that 1.5 m³ of oily liquid flew out from the oil pipe, as the polluted area was large — 0.6 hectares.


Karen Begagaev explains that the accident was under snow. That’s why the snow had to be expanded in the barrels first to make oily liquid flow down. However, there was an emergency situation, and the oil caught fire.


When the fire was extinguished, the company's employees have taken out the remnants of snow and soil.


“Clean-up operations were held the way that I wouldn't have doubts that there was some piece left somewhere that I have not seen,” Karen Begagaev explains the large amount of snow and soil exported. “When the snow melts, there will be re-sampling, and then we’ll say if it is cleaned or not cleaned. Because it wasn’t covered, it was cleaned”.




In the final part of the meeting a social activist Alexei Semyonov forwards a proposal to create a socio-ecological insurance fund of the Izhemsky district.


Deputy General Director of Public Relations Yevgeniya Tyomnaya says about how much money was allocated by the oil company in recent years within the framework of social partnership with the district. However, her speech is emotionally interrupted by a chairman of the initiative group of Krasnobor Oleg Terentyev:


“There is a feeling that the problems of Krasnobor were talked round... The work of oilers, that have been holding for 15 years, hasn’t given anything to the village. This is an environmental threat, a threat to the swamplands, our water. I'm trying to understand how this threat can be compensated. The settlement was given less than 1 million rubles for three years. You don’t see and don’t hear us. We can’t let you work with us, if you don’t build up relationship with us.”


“It’s not us who are talking away,” head of the Regional Communications "LUKOIL" LLC Vladimir Gerasimov says. “Today we’ve heard the issues that, unfortunately, can’t be solved by "LUKOIL" LLC. There was a bunch of questions related to taxation in Russia. Let's invite someone from the republican leadership and discuss with them the way taxes are distributed. Together, let us approach to the State Duma deputy from Komi to make him discuss how taxes are distributed on the federal level. As well as you we are not satisfied when taxes go to the federal budget. We are interested in everything is well developed here. We won’t change working procedures under the agreement. But this doesn’t prevent us to defend some of your interests on the operating level. We are creating a joint group; specify the points of your wishes. I can’t promise that we’ll be able to implement it in a day or two, but I promise that we’ll work in this direction.


As a result, the attendees supported the resolution, which included six points. Residents unanimously demanded that as long as they are not fulfilled, "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC suspends its work in the area. "7x7" publishes the text of the statement.


When the meeting was over, the man from the front row exchanged a few words with the representative of "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC:


— The money that you gave us under the agreement, is it a payment or a gift?


— Of course, a gift. We just gave you that, and you spend, — Tyomnaya said with a smile.


— If it is a gift, then take it back. We can live without gifts.




When the article was prepared for publication, the editors of «7x7» received a press release from "LUKOIL-Komi" LLC in which representatives presented their vision of yesterday's meeting. Later the online-journal will publish the text of the message, so that readers could see how differently the oilers and locals evaluated the meeting in Krasnobor.


Maxim Polyakov, «7x7»


Original: http://7x7-journal.ru/item/40690


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