Russia's Arctic: Thousands Of Seals Surround Drilling Rig Goes Viral
Harp seals reach Prirazlomnaya offshore oil rig
Thousands of harp seals have baffled scientists as they swarm in their thousands to surround the Prirazlomnaya offshore oil rig in Russia just of the Pechora Sea in the Arctic Circle.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. There are thousands of them!” one shocked oil rig worker said.
One oil rig worker who spoke out about the phenomenon said he had never seen anything like it.
The worker made a short video showing thousands of seals surrounding the rig.
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Disclose.tv reports The oil rig is noisy as it is pumping oil along with continually receiving the arrival of oil ships and docking tankers. Generally animals of any kind, harp seals included, are put off by the vibrations from industrial machinery along with the comings and goings of large shops and the workers.
It was said that the seals are usually lazy and they do not want to be moving away from a ship`s path, so there must be something that has specifically attracted them to surround the oil rig.
The video captured by the oil rig worker shows the harp seals diving under the ice and swimming in the water surrounding the rig. The seals can spend up to fifteen minutes in the water while they hunt for their prey and then they have to come back to the surface. The ships captains who are behind the wheel of the ships in the Arctic avoid the seals.
Along with causing the death of the seals the ship can cause displacement that is traumatic if the icebreaker should go through the habitat of the seal. The oil rig has had no impact on the environment as all the waste and pollutants are stored and then taken back to the mainland.
The oil rig has been operating since 2014 without any high-profile hitches ever since oil was first extracted, but it has been the subject of high-profile protests by Greenpeace.
The platform is expected to close down this summer for three months to undergo some upgrades. The oil platform cost Gazprom the state-run giant from Russia over $1 billion to build and then install and it has been called a landmark project in oil exploration in the Arctic. Just what the thousands of harp seals find so fascinating about the busy region in the Arctic remains a mystery, but something must be guiding them to a region they would have avoided.