Russian oil and gas companies are spending several billions to repair the damages caused by permafrost thaw due to global warming, according to a Greenpeace study.

The study found the companies are spending $1.9bn (R55bn) a year to repair infrastructure damaged due to increasing temperatures and melting water in western Siberia.

“For Russia, the biggest threat of the permafrost melt is to oil and gas company infrastructure,” said Vladimir Chuprov, who heads Greenpeace’s energy programme in Russia.

He said that the group had consulted with experts at gas giant Gazprom in writing its report, which detailed the destruction to infrastructure such as pipelines caused by rising temperatures and resulting melt water, writes news agency AFP.

Russia’s main raw export industries are spread across the Siberian permafrost, which makes up over 60% of its territory and includes 20 cities and several hundred thousand people.