MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian
research vessel departs Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of
Kaliningrad on Tuesday for the Black Sea to probe into the
long-term consequences of the 2007 oil spill in the Kerch
During a storm on November 11, 2007, four ships sank and
six ran aground in the channel between Russia and Ukraine that
links the Black and Azov seas. Two oil tankers were damaged,
causing a spill of around 2,000 metric tons of fuel oil.
"This will be Russia's largest expedition in the Black
Sea" for a decade, said Alexei Sokov, deputy director at the
Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of
The month-long expedition on board the Professor Shtokman
vessel will involve over 80 people.
One of the ship's previous expeditions opened the Shtokman
gas field in the Barents Sea, whose reserves have been assessed
at 1.5-2 trillion cu m of gas. The Professor Shtokman was also
involved in seismological research near Bushehr in Iran, where
a nuclear power plant is being built with Russia's assistance.