Gazprom

In December 2013, Gazprom became the first company in the world to start drilling for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. Since the drilling began, the corporation has already violated several federal safety and environmental regulations.

Gazprom is responsible for sizeable oil spills
in its land operations. Greenpeace Russia’s
specialists have identified 206 oil spills across
6 oil fields where Gazprom conducts drilling operations.

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Problem

Gazprom is the first company to install an oil drilling platform, called Prirazlomnaya, in the offshore ice covered Arctic Pechora Sea.

In December 2013, Gazprom became the first company in the world to start drilling for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. Since the drilling began, the corporation has already violated several federal safety and environmental regulations.

Nominating organisation

Greenpeace Russia

"We had about 800 reindeer five years ago. Now just 80 to 100 are left. They are mainly shot down by oil industry workers. I think that there is no future. If the oil companies would leave us, we can manage to save something here, to recover this place. But while oil workers are still here there is no future for us."

− Vladimir Vello, a deer farmer from the Purovsky district

Consequences

Independent research on the potential impacts of an oil spill has revealed that Gazprom would not be able to respond to an oil spill. Such a spill would lead to serious, long-term pollution of this fragile region.

The US Geological Survey concluded that “there is no comprehensive method for cleanup of spilled oil in sea ice”. It is estimated that the total area at risk is over 140,000km2 of sea and 3,000km of coastline, and that nearby wildlife reserves and critical habitats for Arctic seabirds and walrus would be heavily threatened.

Cause

Gazprom is responsible for sizeable oil spills in its land operations. With satellite images and field visits, Greenpeace Russia’s specialists have identified 206 oil spills across 6 oil fields where Gazprom conducts drilling operations. Gazprom has also been involved in an offshore drilling disaster that killed 53 people in December 2011, when the Kolskaya jack-up rig capsized during towing. The rig was under contract to a Gazprom subsidiary, which was never held directly responsible for the accident. However, their responsibility in this tragedy is obvious.
Regular cuts in budget and security measures in their towing operations contributed to the accident. The world has already seen how Shell, despite spending billions of dollars and investing years of effort, was entirely incapable of working safely in the Alaskan Arctic.
With Gazprom’s abysmal track record, the worst has to be feared for the pristine and vulnerable region.
Russian taxpayers are at risk of paying for Gazprom’s misadventures in the Arctic and most likely also for any consequences of an oil spill in the Arctic region, along with the rest of the world.

Perpetrator

Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom (“Gazprom”) is currently the world’s largest gas company and is mainly owned by the Russian state. In 2012, Gazprom reported a net profit of $83bn.

Gazprom is also a media giant; its “Gazprom Media Holding” is one of the richest media companies in Russia with a turnover of more than 2bn dollars. The company widely uses its TV channels and radio to influence public opinion, for example to depict Greenpeace’s peaceful actions to protect the environment as foreign eco-terrorism.

Alexey Miller

Company: Gazprom
Salary: US$ 25'000'000 (2013)
Position: CEO

In 2000, Alexey Miller was Deputy Energy Minister in Russia