Oil and gas producing companies keep occupying new territories forcing out their native population. RN-Purneftegas, one of the branches of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, promised to add new colors into the life of people living in the Purovsky Region, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. Those areas have been inhabited by Nenets, Khanty and other peoples for centuries. It is yet black that has been prevailing so far. Peoples who survived revolutions, collectivization and the chaos of the 90s are now on the verge of extinction. Oil and gas production business turned out to be more hazardous than the threat of the past.
Russia has one of the strictest environmental legislations but it looks like it doesn’t work at all. To develop new oilfields, the company has to conduct a referendum to receive the local people’s permission. In most cases, such referendums are either rigged or omitted.
Environmentalists estimate at least 1 % of Russia’s annual oil production, or 5 million tons, is spilled every year. Oil, seeping through rusty pipelines and old wells, contaminates soil, kills all plants that grow on it and destroys habitats for mammals and birds.
The country gave to the peoples of the North nothing but a questionable comfort of living in the country and compulsory education which forces children to spend most of their time in cities, away from their families. Future is what Russia took away from them. Nenets Vladimir lost 60% of his territory and 80% of his deer. Yet the man still hopes that nature would be able to restore itself, given the oil industry workers moved away right now.