The Arctic Research and Design Center (the Rosneft and ExxonMobil JV) and public organization called The Marine Mammals Council have entered in a research-and-development contract for staging polar bear studies in the areas of potential hydrocarbon development projects.
Rosneft pays particular attention to preserving and protecting the polar ecosystems. In its offshore projects, the Company plans a permanent environmental monitoring program in the Arctic seas and coast line areas. Rosneft restores an effective meteorological network in Arctic. Within the last year alone, the Company launched 3 modern meteorological observing stations on the coast of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.
The bulk of the polar bear studies are expected to be completed during a 2014 expedition to the high Arctic, scheduled for July – October 2014. Zoologists plan to acquire the data on the distribution of polar bears in the survey areas, put on GPS collars on a sub set of bears and track their movements. In addition, they plan to acquire biological specimens, to assess levels of pollutants in the specimens and to isolate DNA for further molecular-genetic analysis.