Permafrost thaw threatens Russia oil and gas complex
November 23, 2009
Thawing permafrost caused by global warming is costing Russian energy firms billions of dollars annually in damage control Greenpeace warned in a new study recently released, reports the Associated Foreign Press. According to the report by the environmental watchdog, up to 55 billion rubles (1.9 billion dollars) a year is spent on repairs to infrastructure and pipelines damaged by changes in the permafrost in western Siberia. The group consulted with experts at gas giant Gazprom in writing its report, which detailed the destruction to infrastructure such as pipelines caused by rising temperatures and resulting melt water. Russia''s main raw export industries are spread across the Siberian permafrost, which makes up over 60 percent of its territory. The permafrost thaw has accelerated in recent years and Russia is now shrinking by 30 square kilometers (12 square miles) per year as icey territory disappears from the coastline, one of the authors of the report, Oleg Anisimov, warned.