ST. PETERSBURG, March 1 - RAPSI. The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Regional Commercial Court has adjourned until April 3 the Krasnodar Civil Defense and Emergency Department's claim to recover $15 million in compensation for an oil spill in the Kerch Strait, the court reports on its website on Thursday.

Dozens of vessels crashed in the strait during a storm on November 11, 2007. Over 1,200 tonnes of mazut were spilled into the sea from the Russian Volgoneft-139 oil tanker.

The defendants in the case are the Volgotanker oil shipping company, Ingosstrakh insurance company and UK-based International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992. The St. Petersburg Commercial Court started hearing the case in 2008. In August 2010, the court opened separate proceedings in the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources' claim. The watchdog claimed 6 billion rubles ($206.7 million) in compensation for environmental damage caused by the oil spill.

Three courts held against the claims from September 2010 to April 2011, stating that the environmental damage was offset by the Krasnodar Civil Defense and Emergency Department, Kerch commercial seaport, Novorossiysk Emergency and Rescue Department and BashVolgotanker company.