Mainstreaming biodiversity
conservation into Russia's energy
sector policies and operations

Northern Caspian. Projects Contribution.

Reducing accumulated ecological damage in the Astrakhan Oblast.

A comprehensive survey of the Sokolovskiye Pits carried out in the Astrakhan Oblast shows the soil there is oil-contaminated to various degrees on an area of 3 ha to a depth of up to 6 m. In the oil sludge under a layer of earth are liquid oil cuts, which migrate together with the subsoil water both horizontally and vertically. As a result, oil products keep flowing into the river water. Currently, the area of negative impact on the water body is estimated at 5 ha provided there will be no increase in oil migration from the pits. The total volume of oil sludge and oil-contaminated soil can amount to 170,000 m3. The results of the preliminary survey helped to draw the attention of federal agencies to the Sokolovskiye Pits problem. It was decided to liquidate the pits.
The Nature Management and Environment Protection Service of the Astrakhan Oblast developed and approved draft terms of reference for shore protection works to be followed by oil sludge treatment and soil restoration.
In 2016, a temporary piling wall was built along Pit No. 1. The depth of the wall from the water level is 6 m; in the summertime, it is 3 m above the low-water flow. The total wall height is 9 m. When the wall was examined during the spring flood peak, the water level above the wall edge was ca. 1 m. Under normal conditions, the wall is expected to function from three to five years. The facility has been handed over to the administration of the Privolzhski municipal district.
Scientists have developed a collection of hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial strains found in the Sokolovskiye Pits oil sludge. Currently, research is underway to produce biologicals that activate oil product degradation.

Guidelines on Equipping Overhead Power Lines (average power 6 to 10 KV) with Modern Bird-Protection Devices have been developed for oil producing companies operating in the Republic of Kalmykia.

The book offers practical guidelines on how to protect birds from being killed on middle voltage overhead power lines (6 to 10 KV) and the associated power units (distribution and transformer substations).
A special focus is made on rare Russian Red Book and Kalmykia Red List bird species inhabiting oil extraction areas in the south-east of the region that tend to perch power lines.
The following oil-and-gas companies actively participated in drafting and discussing the Guidelines, and volunteered to apply them in real life: Lukoil-NizhnevolzhskNeft, OOO; EvroSibOil, OOO; VolgogradNeft (branch of Ritek, OAO).

Establishment of protected areas (PAs) as part of offsetting measures aimed at minimising negative impacts from oil extraction in the Northern Caspian.

PA on the Tyuleni Island. Materials have been prepared to substantiate granting this area the legal status of a federal protected area. Protecting the island and the waters around it will make this area much more attractive to birds who stop here to rest and feed during migration, and come here to winter. Furthermore, the Caspian Seal will be protected, and so will be many Caspian Sea fish species and most aquatic and coastal birds of North-Western Caspian Sea region.

- local PAs (Astrakhan Oblast, Kamyzyak district). A comprehensive environmental study of the Kamyzyak district was carried out. The survey materials have been handed over to the Astrakhan Oblast Nature Management and Environment Protection Service for further investigation of issues related to the establishment of a regional PA here.

© 2019