Norway's Statoil has got together with Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft in an agreement to seek to protect the environment and biodiversity of the Russian Arctic.
Statoil CEO Helge Lund and Rosneft President Igor Sechin on Friday signed a Declaration on Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity for Oil and Gas Exploration and Development on the Russian Arctic Continental Shelf, according to a joint statement from the companies.
The two firms said the declaration has reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development, including minimizing the impact of oil and gas activities on indigenous populations and climate change.
Statoil and Rosneft will seek to coordinate activities in order to preserve the biodiversity of the Arctic, including observing the principles and recommendations of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the standards set by IPIECA – the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues.
Friday's declaration also supports regular monitoring of changes to the natural landscape and seas of the Arctic, as well as international cooperation as part of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS).
In order to ensure effective implementation of the declaration, Rosneft said it would consider the establishment of a dedicated Coordination Centre with the participation of representatives of Roskosmos, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM).
Rosneft plans to sign bilateral cooperation agreements with EMERCOM, the Russian Ministry of Transport and Roskosmos within the framework of the declaration's realization.
"Environmental protection issues are on top of our agenda, especially when planning the development of the Russian Arctic. We intend to sign this declaration with all our partners before we launch any substantial activity in the Arctic to make sure everyone is governed by the same principles. I am grateful to Statoil and Helge Lund personally for the agreement to join this initiative," said Sechin in the statement.
Statoil's Lund added: "We fully endorse Rosneft's initiative. The purpose of the declaration reflects Statoil's values and our commitment to safeguarding health, safety and the environment in our operations on a daily basis."
The Russian Arctic also loomed large at the Next Generation Oil & Gas Summit in St. Petersburg at the beginning of July this year, when issues such as the environment, the logistical problems of operating in the Arctic region and how soon fields in the Russian Arctic could be put into production were widely discussed.
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