Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rosneft to study Arctic’s fauna to protect it during oil exploration

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will monitor marine fauna in the Northern Sea Route in 2014 in a bid to preserve marine life during oil exploration, the company’s press release says.

“The objective of the said studies is collection of data on marine fauna in Rosneft License Areas with a view to building a complete and detailed picture of the baseline environment state and developing a set of environmental controls to be applied during hydrocarbons exploration and production,” Rosneft said in a press release released Wednesday.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil’s joint Arctic Research Center will be charged with organizing the study. The monitoring activities will be conducted on two icebreakers and the research will cover the animals, birds and mammals of northern seas.

The company outlined a set of surveys to be performed, including “marine mammal activity monitoring and registration throughout daylight hours,” “monitoring and registration of other marine animal species' activity,” and “keeping record of visual observations of marine mammals and their activity.”

The survey activities are planned in all northern seas of the Arctic.

In 2011, Rosneft and ExxonMobil signed a strategic cooperation agreement for joint development of the three East Prinovozemelsky blocks in the Kara Sea. As part of the partnership, the Arctic Research and Design Center for Offshore Developments (ARC) joint venture was established to focus on research and development, and to become Russia's first center capable of tackling the difficulties Rosneft will face when exploring shelf deposits.

Earlier this month, ARC and The Marine Mammals Council, a public organization, called entered in a research and development contract for staging polar bear studies in the areas of potential hydrocarbon development projects.


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