“Flounder” for seismic exploration
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Gazprom Neft has tested a new generation Russian sea-bottom station called Flounder to conduct seismic exploration on the shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian far east, the oil company said. The project was launched in 2019.

The Flounder station was designed and produced by the scientific-industrial company Aviation and Marine Electronics. The first group of stations to be produced passed laboratory tests. And this year they will be tested in real conditions. The “Marine Arctic Geological Expedition” and “Rosgeologia” will carry out tests on Gazprom Neft’s licensed marine blocks.

    The previous model of sea-bottom station – known as “Crab” – performed well in 2019 during seismological work in the Ayashsky block in the Sea of Okhotsk.

    The new station is in the shape of a cylinder – a vast improvement in ergonomic design – and makes it easy to see even in conditions of poor visibility. New hydrophones and geophones have been installed as well as a compass and a built-in acoustic module. This improves the quality of data collection and processing and results in a more clear seismological picture from the worksite.

    The next generation of stations will be equipped with a mechanism allowing for automatic – rather than manual — lowering and raising from the vessel.

    This new mechanism, to be in operation from 2022, will make the work of scientists easier and speed up seismic work on the shelf.

    In 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade financed work on resource tests of improved sea-bottom seismic stations. These allow for quick replacement of battery modules for uninterrupted work, and are equipped with hydrophones that can be replaced “on site”, with characteristics of the best performance quartz watches and compasses.

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