Surveys

In compliance with the Russian Law, the environmental engineering support of an offshore hydrocarbon field development project calls for integrated environmental surveys in the area of field development.

Since 2008 Shtokman Development AG has initiated and financed a significant number of integrated environmental surveys in the project areas — offshore, the near-coastal waters, and onshore:

  • Offshore environmental surveys were performed during 2008 over four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) and in 2009 in the license block area of the Shtokman gas and condensate field and along the route of the planned pipeline and fiber-optic communications cable.
  • Near-shore environmental surveys were performed in 2008 in the area of Teriberka, Dolgaya, Zavalishina, and Opasova bays to validate the design of facilities for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate.
  • Onshore environmental surveys — have been underway since 2008 to date covering the onshore trunkline area, Gas Treatment Unit, LNG Plant, as well as Administrative Support Area and Operations camp.

These surveys allow to accumulate environmental baseline data and evaluate both natural status of the ecosystems and transformed level as a result of the previous anthropological impact, as well as assess potential environmental risks.

Offshore environmental surveys

Offshore environmental surveys included important components such as studies of the hydrological regime of the sea, metocean and ice conditions, a seabed relief in the production area and trunkline route, current environmental status and biological components of the sea. Biological surveys focused in particular on studying all types of plankton, neuston, benthos, ichthyo and avifauna, and marine mammals. Water contamination, seabed sediments, and marine organisms were assessed. The scientific fleet of PINRO, research vessels Smolensk, F.Nansen, Vilnius, and Pr. Boiko, were involved in the surveys. Observations and studies of the distribution and abundance of marine mammals and birds were made from an aircraft with an onboard lab in the field area and along the pipeline route. Area observations were performed during two seasons.

Near-shore environmental surveys

Near-shore environmental surveys were carried out in the area of landfall and future LNG and condensate jetties. During 4 seasons within the limits of the littoral and sub-littoral of Teriberka, Dolgaya, and Opasova bays, oceanographic, hydrochemical, radiological, and hydrobiological studies were carried out using both remote sampling methods and diving equipment. Research vessel Professor Boiko and motor boats Heidy and Hydrolux were engaged for this purpose.

Onshore environmental surveys

Onshore environmental surveys are being performed on Teriberka peninsula along the seashore of Teriberka, Zavalishina, and Opasova bays in the area where the onshore infrastructure facilities will be located. Kola Wildlife Preservation Centre specialists are involved in the surveys. Joint environmental botanical study allowed to produce high accuracy maps of habitats of red-listed plants. Survey results allowed to produce first detailed map of the Teriberka Peninsula water bodies. Commercial fishery assessment has been conducted for all water bodies. A special focus of the studies is placed on the archaeological survey which yielded around forty objects of historical cultural heritage.

It is SDAG priority to minimize and wherever feasible zero out a potential adverse environmental impact of the Project. The data obtained from these surveys are used in solutions design for the Shtokman project.