Gazprom Neft has recently completed environmental monitoring to assess the ecosystem of the Barents Sea around its Prirazlomnoye field, with specialists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre taking samples from atmospheric air, sea waters and sea-floor sediments, as well as analysing biological processes in offshore waters. Researchers also monitored marine mammals and birds along their specialist research vessels’ entire route.
The vicinity around the Prirazlomnoye field is home to state reserves and sanctuaries with unique flora and fauna. Those areas falling within the company’s ongoing environmental monitoring and oversight include the islands of the Nenetsky nature reserve — researchers’ ecological observations on the Vaigach, Matveev, Dolgiy and Golets islands here including monitoring the walrus population. Using drones and satellite images scientists were able to estimate the walrus population throughout their breeding grounds, also recording population and lifecycle changes using standalone trap-cameras. Ecologists also took soil samples and plankton samples from coastal waters, as well as compiling an outline of local vegetation.
"We have a whole range of effective environmental-protection technologies in place to ensure environmental safety in the area where the Prirazlomnaya platform is in operation: and we are fully compliant with stringent industrial and environmental safety requirements. Ongoing environmental monitoring is also one of the most important elements of our ecological programme. All research conducted over the past decade points to the continued wellbeing of the area’s local ecosystem, confirming the effectiveness of our approach in ensuring safe operations in the Arctic."Igor Rustamov Director General, Gazprom Neft Shelf
“The Atlantic walrus is one of the most sensitive and susceptible species of marine mammals, and its condition is an important indicator of the surrounding ecosystem’s sustainability. Our observations in 2021 — as in previous years of ongoing monitoring — show consistent trends in all key indicators.”Margarita Kiryushina Chief Specialist, Ecology Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre
“Our nature reserve has been collaborating with scientific institutions in Russia for many years, offering them the opportunity to observe the nature of the Arctic in a protected area. The information they obtain is extremely important for nature conservation. Programmes directed at securing the wellbeing of all the species inhabiting our nature reserve can only be planned and carried out on the basis of many years’ scientific investigation and analysis.”Stanislav Zolotoy Director, Nenetsky Nature Reserve
The Prirazlomnoye oilfield is located in the south—east of the Barents Sea, 60 kilometres offshore. Recoverable reserves are in the order of 79 million tonnes. Commercial field development started in 2013. Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazprom Neft Shelf is the Operator on the Prirazlomnaya platform.
Yearly monitoring of the environment around the Prirazlomnaya offshore platform has been ongoing since 2010. The outcomes of the first seven years of investigations form part of the “Environmental Atlas of the Pechora Sea”, presented by Gazprom Neft at the 2019 X International “Ecology” forum in Moscow.