Russia’s Rosneft has reported that as part of a large-scale summer Arctic research expedition “Kara-Summer – 2014” a meteorological station was installed on the island of Uedinenie.
Thus, the expedition organized by the “Arctic Research and Development Center” (a joint venture of “Rosneft” and ExxonMobil), with the support of the specialists from the FGBI “Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research Institute” has completed the restoration of the system of meteorological observations in the Kara Sea, where three more stations were previously installed as commissioned by the Company. This will supply the region with a full-fledged complex of meteorological monitoring.
Furthermore, preventive maintenance was carried out on all the previously installed meteorological stations on the archipelago Novaya Zemlya.Rosneft says it is systematically implementing an extensive program to restore all systems of meteorological observations in the Arctic, and the expedition is planning to install a few more meteorological stations in the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea.
A unified network of meteorological observation will not only optimize the works on geological exploration and increase the effectiveness of extraction works, but, Rosneft adds, it will also enable a series of large-scale scientific and research programs to study the region.
“The amount of collected information goes far beyond the framework of research necessary to begin exploration works on the continental shelf of the seas of the Arctic Ocean. The data obtained can significantly improve the quality of weather forecasts for the benefit of the whole country,” reads a statement by the Russian oil company.
The expedition on board of the modern scientific expedition vessel “Akademik Tryoshnikov” is currently in the Laptev Sea and is heading towards the islands of the De Long in the East Siberian Sea. As part of the expedition scientists began exploring the waters of the licensed areas of NK “Rosneft” in the Laptev Sea, the Kara Sea, the East Siberian and the Chukchi Sea.
Rosneft assures that special attention is being paid to biological research, including the monitoring of the habitat of marine mammals and birds.
“Priority in this direction belongs to a comprehensive study of polar bears. Specialists-zoologists biopsied some of polar bears, and the information they get from that will enable the scientists to assess the impact of environmental changes on the animals; also, special collars with satellite transmitters were placed on some animals, which will enable the acquisition of data on the distribution of polar bears within the research area,” the company explains.
Additionally, oceanographic works are being conducted which includes getting the parameters from the six submerged autonomous buoy stations installed in August of 2013. In a course of a year these stations have been gathering information about the level of the sea, its currents and waves, sediment and ice drifting. Such data is necessary to implement the programs of exploration drilling and the subsequent development of the East-Prinovozemelsky licensed areas of the “Rosneft” Company.
Bed load samples were collected as part of the licensing requirements program of geochemical surveys to identify the presence of the primary hydrocarbon indications in the licensed areas of the “Rosneft” Company. The samples will be subjected to a comprehensive geochemical analysis in laboratories at the end of the expedition.
During the expedition, specialists installed 45 drifting buoys to track the movements of icebergs in the glacier areas of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya and the islands of the archipelago Severnaya Zemlya. These buoys allow continuous monitoring of the positions of ice formations and determining the trajectory of their drift. In addition, scientists have taken aerial and radar photographs of iceberg-producing glaciers, which will allow them to build their 3D models and evaluate their productivity.
Moreover, on the archipelago Severnaya Zemlya specialists-volcanologists have identified promising locations to install sensors for monitoring the seismic situation in the area of future works.
The comprehensive data collected during the expedition will be considered when planning any economic activity in the Arctic shelf, and it will also be taken into account when developing the technology of safe production of hydrocarbons in the Arctic.
The expedition “Kara-Summer 2014” will last until September 23, 2014.