The Russian emergencies ministry is planning to build ten centers to monitor the operation and safety of oil and gas pipelines on the Arctic coast, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.
"One of the problems in the Arctic is the safety of oil and gas pipelines built on frozen ground. The thaw [in spring and summer] causes deformation of earth layers and, consequently, leads to leaks, ruptures and explosions at pipelines," Shoigu said in an interview with Russia 1 television.
"We have decided to build ten centers along the coast in the Arctic," he said. "They will combine meteorological, rescue and even borderguards services — all that is needed to tackle emergency situations."
Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway are seeking to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to contain rich oil and gas deposits. The vast hydrocarbon deposits will become more accessible as rising global temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.
Easier access to untapped natural resources of the Arctic will inevitably lead to the construction of dozens of new pipelines and require well-coordinated monitoring of oil and gas exploration in the region.
Shoigu said the most advanced safety technologies would be used in construction of pipelines in the Arctic.