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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Finish Date Set For Oil Cleanup

Cleanup workers expect to finish recovering all the oil from last year's huge spill on fragile tundra in northern Russia by the end of September, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The spill, from a series of leaks on an aging Komineft pipeline last summer and fall, spewed oil into streams and forests near the city of Usinsk, 1,600 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

Albert Hartley, president of AES Hartec, which is directing the cleanup, said all the oil should be collected by Sept. 24. Hartley also directed the cleanup following the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

AES Hartec, an American-Australian joint venture, began the cleanup operation in March to keep oil out of salmon-rich rivers draining into the Barents Sea.

Cleanup workers are hoping to finish collecting the oil before winter weather traps the oil beneath snow and ice.

Estimates of the spill's size vary. The World Bank and Greenpeace estimated that it totaled at least 100,000 metric tons -- about three times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill of 37,000 tons.