Gazprom Neft presents to the Russian Geographical Society's Board of Trustees a Unique Arctic Narwhal Project

Gazprom Neft launches a large-scale program to study the rare Arctic animal — narwhal (Monodon Monoceros, the unicorn of the sea), listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation (RDBRF). Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Management Board, CEO, Gazprom Neft presented the project “Narwhal: an Arctic Legend” at the meeting of the Russian Geographical Society’s Board of Trustees, under the chairmanship of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, taking place in St. Petersburg on April 27th.

The unique project under the aegis of the Russian Geographical Society allows evaluating narwhals’ population status in the Western sector of the Russian Arctic region, defining the population level and distribution area as well as to form narwhal’s and their living environment preservation program. No comprehensive studies of this species have been carried out to date.

Expedition plan is to explore northeast waters of the Barents and Kara Seas using an ice-class research vessel, to perform bioacoustic studies and environmental measurement, as well as to mark several specimens of this rare porpoise by fixing the satellite tags in order to track the migration. The research will allow to create a distribution map, form the detailed scientific report and define necessary measures to save endangered species. Gazprom Neft also plans to use its Arctic fleet and helicopters to collect the data on narwhal.

Moreover, the study will form the basis for a large-scale media project, with the purpose of drawing attention to the topic of the sea unicorn rescuing activities through the creation of TV programs, a documentary, a specific website, and social media accounts.

“The Russian North economic development should take place with the preservation of its fragile and unique ecosystem. Gazprom Neft is a recognized leader in the industrial development of the Russian Arctic and is already implementing several comprehensive programs to study and protect the environment in this region. Our mutual project with the Russian Geographical Society aimed at saving this endangered species listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation,” said Alexander Dyukov, Chairman of the Management Board, CEO, Gazprom Neft.


The narwhal is a rare species of cetaceans, which can be found in the waters of the Russian Arctic. Makes seasonal migrations, adheres to areas with continental slopes, observed in areas of drifting ice. The total number of species and biological feature of these animals in Russian waters unknown. The migration’s length, as well as the boundaries of habitat areas, are not defined.

The cooperation of Gazprom Neft and the Russian Geographical Society has begun in 2010 and continues up to present. Activities in the context of cooperation: organization of the several geographical expeditions, diverse exhibitions and conferences, the creation of documentaries about the nature of Russia, the foundation of the Arctic floating University and creation of the Russian Geographical Society Archive.

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