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Environmentalists warn of risks of Arctic drilling

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MOSCOW >> Environmental activists say drilling for oil in the Russian Arctic could have disastrous consequences because of the lack of infrastructure to deal with a spill.

Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund on Tuesday unveiled a report assessing the risks of an oil spill in the Pechora Sea in Russia’s Arctic where state-owned Gazprom has installed a huge drilling platform.

The report says a sizeable spill from the platform could contaminate protected areas and nature reserves on the shore and islands within about 20 hours, while emergency teams would take at least three days to reach the area. The platform is about 620 miles from Murmansk, the nearest port.

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