Rosgeologia, the Russian state-run geological exploration services company, last week signed a series of agreements aimed at expanding its operations. The agreements were signed on 19 June by Rosgeologia CEO Roman Panov and officials from Rosatom, VTB Bank, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the Russian Energy Ministry, the Murmansk region, the Russian State Geological Prospecting University and the Russian Academy of Sciences' institute for the integrated development of subsoil, during the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum last week.
The agreement with Rosatom - signed by the state nuclear corporation's director general Sergey Kiriyenko at a ceremony attended by Russia's minister of natural resources and the environment, Sergey Donskoy - sets out "key cooperation principles" which Rosgeologia and Rosatom intend to foster in subsoil geological studies and the replacement of reserves of uranium, rare and trace elements, as well as in the import substitution of geology-prospecting equipment and software. The two companies will cooperate in the development of technologies for new types of uranium deposits as well as environmental and industrial safety.
Andrey Koston, the chairman of Russian investment bank VTB, signed a cooperation agreement with Rosgeologia on the provision of banking services and assistance with the implementation of its investment programs and individual projects. Panov noted the importance of "reliable and mutually beneficial" cooperation with major Russian banks, primarily with its long-term projects.
An agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, signed by the head of the fund, Kirill Dmitriyev, aims at cooperation in investment in new technologies, improving the performance of the industrial sector and import substitution.
An agreement with the Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy, signed by the head of the agency, Anatoly Tikhonov, covers cooperation in R&D in energy supply systems, energy resources and provision of energy safety at regional and international levels.
An agreement with the governor of the Murmansk region, Marina Kovtun, aims to enhance cooperation with Rosgeologia in integrated geological studies and the development of subsoil, replacement of the region's mineral-raw materials base, and efforts to attract investment.
Rosgeologia also signed a "tripartite letter of intent" to create the Economics of the Mineral and Raw Materials Complex with the Russian State Geological Prospecting University and the Russian Academy of Sciences' institute for the integrated development of subsoil. This new organisation will provide "a focus for geological science, study programs and modern business practices" and offer a Master's Degree program in economics, Rosgeologia said.
Rosgeologia also signed an agreement with Damco Energy SA of Greece, to cooperate in "the integrated geological study of the Greek territory and replacement of solid mineral and hydrocarbon resources," Rosgeologia said. They will also jointly develop "exclusive cooperation" in geothermal energy sources.
"We are glad to have acquired so many partners today and also to map out new areas for cooperation with those we have worked with for a long time," Panov said. "Developing geological-related education is a challenge facing Rosgeologia. We are dealing with this on a regular basis and the creation of the [new] department marks an important step in that direction."
Established in July 2011 by presidential decree, Rosgeologia consists of 38 enterprises located in 30 regions across Russia. Its assets include major hydrocarbon and solid mineral deposits and fields, such as the Astrakhan field that contains 2.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, the Tengiz field with 3.1 billion tonnes of oil, the Kovykta field with 1.9 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, the Sukhoi Log deposit with about 2000 tonnes of gold, and the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly.
Rosgeologia's clients include Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, Severstal, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Itera, NLMK, Sibuglemet, BP, Chevron, and others.