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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pipeline in Urals Shut Down After Oil Spill

Russia has shut a pipeline in the Urals following an oil spill that has polluted a river, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Tuesday, while companies using the link said the closure was not affecting their deliveries.

The pipeline leaked 170 kilometers to the west of Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals on Monday and 300 tons of oil leaked out, covering around 5,500 square meters and polluting the nearby Bolshaya Satka river, ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said.

"The affected part of the pipeline was efficiently cut off. Oil-screen barriers are installed in the river," Beltsov said. He declined to say how long the affected section was, but said it was part of the Tuimazy-Omsk-Novosibirsk trunk pipeline, running from Bashkortostan to East Siberia.

The Natural Resources Ministry has confirmed the leak and said it is too early to assess the consequences of the accident. "Only after we conduct tests and see how heavily the river is polluted will we be able to say how serious it is," ministry spokesman Yevgeny Snegiryov said.

Pipeline monopoly Transneft declined to comment. Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, which are among the firms using the pipeline, said their operations were not affected by the leak.