Crude oil leaks from terminal at Ventspils

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Some 500 liters of crude oil leaked from a disused oil pipeline of Ventspils Naftas Terminals (VNT), a company based in the northwestern Latvian port of Ventspils, a representative of the Latvian State Environmental Service told BNS Tuesday.

Elina Dobulane, a representative of VNT shareholder Ventspils Nafta, said the oil leak occurred at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and it ended up in the port's waters. VNT has reported the oil leak to the authorities and cooperates with them to deal with the pollution.

The leaking of crude oil from the pipeline has been stopped by now.

Two water treatment ships have been involved in dealing with the pollution and the first containment booms have been placed in the water to prevent the pollution from spreading. Dobulane indicated that the oil products had leaked into the River Venta but that they did not reach the sea.

Nikitina said that some 500 liters of oil products leaked into the environment during repairs on the pipeline and that employees of the Ventspils regional environmental authority were working at the scene. The Freeport of Ventspils is going to collect the oil from the water with special ships, she said.

The Ventspils regional environmental authority has launched an administrative procedure over the oil spill. Employees of the State Fire and Rescue Service have also been involved in the rescue works.

VNT provides transit services -- receipt, storage and loading of crude oil and petroleum products via pipelines, rail tank-cars and tankers. 

Latvia's Ventspils Nafta holding company is the largest shareholder in VNT with 51%, while a 49% stake in VNT belongs to Eurotank Holding Sarl, a subsidiary of the international terminal company VTTI.

Ventspils Nafta is owned by Vitol Group's offshore holding company Euromin Holdings (Cyprus) Limited. It owns 93.24% percent of shares in the company and thus majority voting rights.

VN and its subsidiaries operated with €21.22 million in profit in the first half of the year.

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