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Oil, gas exploration in Montenegrin offshore begins, ministers say: Environment is protected to maximum extent

Oil, gas exploration in Montenegrin offshore begins, ministers say: Environment is protected to maximum extent
Published date: 16.11.2018 20:17 | Author: PR Service

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PR Service PR Service

Prime Minister Duško Marković and ministers of economy and sustainable development and tourism, Dragica Sekulić and Pavle Radulović, visited earlier today the "Polar Empress" ship, which began research in the offshore of Montenegro and said that today is the beginning of a new era of industrial production in Montenegro and that environmental protection will be taken into account during the research. They added that by learning from the mistakes of other oil and gas producers and being inspired by positive examples, Montenegro has developed a legislative framework so that at the moment of potential hydrocarbon production, state interests are protected to the maximum extent.

"The research this ship is starting today is the first type of operational research under the Emi and Novotec Concession Agreement with the State," the Minister of Economy noted. She pointed out that the Norwegian ship, engaged by oil and gas exploration companies will perform 3D surveys in four blocks in the offshore of Montenegro in the next 40 days by recording the bottom of the Montenegrin offshore in order to get maps and data based on which the first two wells will be located.

"What we have heard on this ship today assures us that the ship is under strict control, which is in line with all modern practices in the fields of geology, seismology and environmental protection. We believe that this model we are using and that we have somehow copied from Norway will bring us many benefits in the time to come," said Minister Sekulić.

PR Service PR Service

Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović stressed that the visit is used to ensure that everything envisaged in relation to environmental protection was respected.

"Six internationally recognised experts working on the protection of the wildlife, primarily the protection of marine mammals, are with us. They will be monitoring these species for the entire time the ship sails in our and international waters to which Montenegro is entitled under international conventions. In addition to people, we also have equipment, so-called hydrophones, which will be gathering all the sound signals the wildlife on which this research will have an impact may produce. If they appear within a radius of 700 m, which is the radius reaching this equipment, the research will be interrupted until the wildlife moves away from the area," the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism explained.

He added that a very comprehensive environmental protection study prescribes, in addition to existing experts and additional, more than 260 additional protection measures that will be introduced.

"I can only express my satisfaction that today I have met all these people and I convinced myself of the sophistication of their equipment and their determination for this research not to harm the wildlife in Montenegro," Minister Radulović underscored.

PR Service PR Service

The ministers said at the end of the visit that representatives of the Montenegrin authorities will be on board and that they will be informed about all aspects of the research on a daily basis.

"Given that we could not bring the media to the ship, we will be using every opportunity to inform the public on a daily basis and provide the citizens with as much information as possible about the research and the entire project's development," Minister Sekulić concluded.