The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Gazprom Neft, Rosgeologia, OAO Kontsern Okeanpribor, and the JSC Marine Arctic Geological Expedition (MAGE) have used this year’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum to enter into a strategic partnership agreement envisaging the development of Russian import-substitution technologies for geological prospecting operations and the opening up of the Russian continental shelf. All parties are committed, in particular, to establishing a marine geophysical recording facility via a gel-filled towed seismic streamer and elastic wave sources*.
Pursuant to the agreement Rosgeologia and MAGE will provide support in the development of technical requirements for such geophysical facility; OAO Kontsern Okeanpribor will lead research activities, prepare technical documentation, and design industrial prototypes for various pieces of equipment. Following the production of such prototypes, Gazprom Neft will investigate the possibility of testing these at its own licence blocks on the Russian continental shelf. Gazprom Neft currently holds licences for the development of the Dolginskoye field and the Severo-Zapadnoye licence block in the Pechora Sea, the Kheysovskiy licence block in the Barents Sea, and the Severo-Vrangelevskiy licence block in the East Siberian and Chukchi Seas. Under the terms of the agreement the Ministry of Industry and Trade will provide consulting and advisory support to the project, specifically on utilising governmental support mechanisms in import-substitution initiatives, including special investment contracts, the financing of project consortia through the government’s Production Development Fund, and others.
Further cooperation between project participants is expected to involve the exchange and discussion of information and data, the organisation of conferences, seminars and information sessions, and scientific, technical, industrial and market research. The parties are expected to establish a coordinating council in order to facilitate joint operations in all areas covered by the agreement.
* A “seismic streamer” is a towed, gel-filled seismic cable for conducting offshore seismic operations. Such a cable typically comprises sections of 100 metres, towed behind a seismic vessel and running up to 12 kilometres in length, which acts as a receiver for a signal given off by the seismic source points.
Seismic source points (elastic wave sources) are towed behind a vessel and generate seismic signals which, reflected through the earth’s crust, are detected by sensors located in the seismic streamer.