Preserving biodiversity

Gazprom Neft is putting in place biodiversity preservation programmes and conducting environmental monitoring to assess its impact on ecosystems in the regions in which it operates.

Research and monitoring carried out in 2019 did not detect any significant changes in the ecosystems, and showed that the company’s operations did not have a adverse impact on biodiversity.

Protecting the biodiversity of the Russian Arctic

The preservation of biodiversity is an non-negotiable priority for the company in its offshore and onshore projects in the Far North. The primary aim of environmental initiatives launched by the company is to preserve the natural balance of fragile Arctic ecosystems and maintain biodiversity in the region.

The company is conducting a corporate programme to preserve biodiversity based on a list of plant and animal species that serve as indicators of the stable condition of marine ecosystems in the Russian Arctic.

This programme includes measures implemented by the company around the Prirazlomnaya offshore ice-resistant oil-producing stationary platform and Gazpromneft-Yamal assets; it includes wildlife monitoring along oil transportation routes.

Gazprom Neft's environmental monitoring projects featured in Discovery magazine

An influential wildlife magazine, Discovery, has published a feature on new Gazprom Neft projects: biodiversity monitoring at the company’s fields in the Arctic, and the first research expedition to study the 'sea unicorn'—the narwhal — which is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A project to study plant and animal ecology was launched in the autumn of 2019. Researchers from the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences travelled dozens of kilometres across the Tazovskoye field to find out which areas birds and animals choose as their habitats, and why. Based on these findings, the researchers prepared recommendations that will help oil companies to prevent environmental impacts.

Earlier in 2019, the company organised a unique expedition to study the narwhal, which is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Gazprom Neft team found more than 30 narwhals—males, females and calves—in the vicinity of the Franz Joseph Land archipelago.

“Narwhal: Legend of the Arctic” expedition

Leadership in Arctic exploration leads to a high level of responsibility for its unique ecosystem and biodiversity.

In the summer of 2019 “Gazprom Neft” has successfully completed first expedition of the “Narwhal: Legend of the Arctic” project. Narwhal is a rare type whales, inhabiting the Russian Arctic. Narwhals are included in an IUCN Red List.

As a result of a four-week scientific expedition to the area of the Franz Josef Land archipelago researchers have collected unique data of Narwhals inhabiting the Russian Arctic. These findings will be used as a core for the research to be conducted until 2022. This project will allow evaluation of the Narwhal population in the Western sector of the Russian Arctic zone and definition on the population amount and spread. “Narwhal: Legend of the Arctic” is an environmental project of the massive programme of “Gazprom Neft” – “Time of Arctic”.

Monitoring the Sea of Okhotsk ecosystem

Environmental monitoring of grey whales in the Sea of Okhotsk forms part of a joint programme being carried out by oil and gas companies operating on Sakhalin. Gazprom Neft joined this programme in 2017, after starting the development of the Ayashsky licence block.

The grey whale monitoring programme is being conducted with support from and in close cooperation with non-governmental environmental organisations, including WWF, Sakhalin Environment Watch, the indigenous community of Sakhalin, the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve, as well as the Western Grey Whale Advisory Panel established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and a working group on biodiversity preservation under the government of the Sakhalin Oblast.

The findings of the 2019 expedition confirmed that the grey whale population in the Sea of Okhotsk had increased.

Wildlife rescue and protection

In 2019, Gazprom Neft Shelf compiled a Field Guide on Wildlife Protection and Rescue in Case of Oil and Petroleum-Products Spills in the Course of Operation of the Prirazlomnaya Offshore Ice-Resistant Oil-Producing Stationary Platform.

The Field Guide provides practical guidelines on measures to be taken to protect, rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals, and sea- and semi-aquatic birds under field conditions, and sets out the rules for conducting such operations safely.

Aquatic Bioresources Reproduction

Gazprom Neft is undertaking the Aquatic Bioresources Reproduction Programme, which is an important part of its field development projects. Gazprom Neft subsidiaries operating in the Arctic breed rare fish species in northern rivers and seas. Millions of juvenile whitefish are released into the Ob, Konda and Severnaya Sosva Rivers. In 2019, company enterprises released a total of over 71 million juvenile fish of commercially valuable species into bodies of water.

In 2019, the company and the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug-Yugra signed an agreement, under which Gazprom Neft will consider as a priority potential remedial measures, namely releasing juvenile Siberian sturgeon, sterlet, whitefish and broad whitefish bred at enterprises fisheries in the Okrug.

The Aquatic Bioresources Reproduction Programme
is an important part of the company's field development projects