OSLO -- A new oil spill laboratory was inaugurated on June 10, by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Murmansk.
The laboratory's task is to analyze the oil samples taken from all the crudes loaded for export in Murmansk. The laboratory is established at Federal State Enterprise Murmansk Center for Standardization, Metrology and Certification.
Regional authorities will also ensure that the laboratory gets the required oil samples. StatoilHydro has supplied the necessary equipment and organized personnel training in cooperation with Norway's Sintef research foundation in Trondheim.
According to StatoilHydro, the opening of the oil spill laboratory is a part of a broad environmental program aimed at strengthening emergency response to oil spills off north-western Russia, implemented jointly by the company and Murmansk regional government within the frames of the MoU about technical and economic cooperation.
"The Barents Sea is a unique ecosystem, and in addition to that it is our joint fishing ground with Norway," says Yuri Evdokimov, Governor of the Murmansk region. "This is why we claim that the upcoming oil and gas projects must be carried out in strict compliance with the European environmental standards and in close cooperation between all the participants. We need to create a front-edge emergency preparedness system that could be further upgraded and developed."