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Rosneft and Moscow State University scientists to develop oil-degrading arctic bacteria

12th September 2014

Rosneft and ExxonMobil’s joint arctic technology research arm, the Arctic Research and Design Centre, has signed a contract to collaborate on research work with the Lomonosov Moscow State University (LMSU)

Rosneft and Moscow State University scientists to develop oil-degrading arctic bacteria
The agreement will also see the upgrading of LMSU’s White Sea Biological Station

The corporate and academic research bodies will come together to research and develop microbial biotechnology capable of performing oils-spill and water contamination clean-up in Arctic regions, focussing on psychrophilic bacteria that survive and thrive in low temperatures.

The agreement will also see the upgrading of LMSU’s White Sea Biological Station.

Following the terms of the agreement, LMSU specialists will conduct the research and analysis of at least five methods of generating these microbes and will elaborate techniques of the bacteria usage.

The research will include taking samples from oil-contaminated areas to extract psychrophilic organisms from natural microbial populations, development of a step-by-step method to detect and isolate the oil-degrading microorganisms tolerant to arctic temperature and salinity conditions while also being efficient degraders for a number of ecologically hazardous toxicants (hydrocarbons of oil and oil products, including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons resistant to oxidation).

The laboratory specimen of the biological product will be tested in a flow-through sea aquarium using temperature and salinity conditions consistent with arctic environments.

The Arctic Research and Design Centre is a joint venture of Rosneft and ExxonMobil.

The scope of its responsibilities includes scientific research and front-end engineering and design needed for Arctic shelf development.

In December 2013, Rosneft and Lomonosov Moscow State University signed a cooperation agreement in the area of research and development. The contract on oil-degrading bacteria elaboration was signed with the National Intellectual Development Foundation of LMSU, which supports students, postgraduates and young scientists.

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