On February 7, 2012, public hearings were held in the city of Archangelsk to discuss seismic research programmes in the Kara Sea on two blocks licensed to Rosneft – East Prinovozemelsky-1 and East Prinovozemelsky-2 – which the company is developing jointly with US oil and gas major ExxonMobil.
Residents of Archangelsk and public organisations were invited to meet seismic research programme developers and independent ecologists, ask questions and make their opinion on the issue known by filling in special questionnaires. Details of the main technological and environmental aspects of the programmes had been on display at the Regional Scientific Library since last December, giving all interested parties plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the materials.
The results of the hearings will be summarised and submitted along with other project documentation for state environmental examination.
Rosneft is planning to conduct the seismic research programme from July to October this year with assistance from Russian companies with vast relevant experience and expertise. 3D seismic will be acquired at the East Prinovozemelsky-1 block, while 2D seismic is planned for the East Prinovozemelsky-2 block. The field operations will be overseen by Rosneft experts as well as experienced ecologists engaged to monitor marine mammals.
Environmentally safe development of the Arctic shelf requires massive investment and exceptional technological prowess, making a compelling case for Rosneft to team up with other industry leading oil majors.
Commenting on the public hearings, Rosneft President Eduard Khudainatov said, “Rosneft and ExxonMobil have 15 years’ experience of joint work on the Sakhalin shelf, where the harsh natural conditions and climate are comparable with those of the Arctic seas. The application of advanced innovative technologies in exploration work based on best international practices and compliance with the most demanding environmental requirements and standards is the way to eliminate any risks for the environment and preserve the unique Arctic flora and fauna.”