About our activity
- When was Prospectiuni founded?
Prospectiuni was founded in 1950. Originally, the company was called IPGGH (Institutul de prospectari geologice si geofizice pentru hidrocarburi), i.e. the Enterprise for Geological and Geophysical Survey of Hydrocarbons. In 1991 the company changes its name to Prospectiuni and in 2000 it becomes a private-owned company.
- Who owns the company?
Prospectiuni is a publically listed company on the Bucharest stock exchange. Its major shareholders are Tender SA (55%) and S.I.F. Muntenia (11%).
- What type of activities is Prospectiuni engaged in?
Prospectiuni provides geophysical and geological services primarily for oil, gas and minerals exploration.
- Where does Prospectiuni unfold its activity?
The head office is located in Bucharest. The company currently has field survey operations in Romania and internationally in Bulgaria, Georgia, Morocco and Senegal. Recently it has also expanded its operations in Tajikistan and Portugal.
- What are the main clients of the company?
The company has a large range of clients including major international oil and gas companies.
- What is its position on the market?
Prospectiuni is the leading G&G services provider in Romania and south-eastern Europe, continuing to expand its operations internationally. Prospectiuni operates to the highest international quality and HSE standard (Health, Security, Environment and Quality) and holds the following certifications: ISO 9002, 1401 and 18001.
- What is the geophysical data acquisition?
Geophysical data acquisition is the first of the three stages of exploration and one of the most commonly used of several geophysical methods to determine the geological structure below the Earth surface. This significantly reduces the need to use invasive investigations, hence reducing any impact on the environment. The method is very similar to ultrasound scanners which are used in hospitals. Geophysical surveys are conducted over many kilometres of the Earth surface, measuring elastic waves reflected from geological layers to determine their shape and physical characteristics.
- What institutions does Prospectiuni need permits or approvals from in order to start field work?
Firstly, all geophysical and geological services providers have to be licensed by the state authority responsible, which is the National Agency for Mineral Resources (NAMR), to provide such services in Romania.
In addition, no Oil&Gas exploration activities can commence in any area until it has been licensed to a company by NAMR. Once a client company has this license and NAMR has approved a work plan, the company discusses with the Ministry of the Environment, local government authorities and providers of utilities (roads, electricity and water utility authorities). Finally, when it is determined what properties are included in the project perimeter, the Prospectiuni crews contact the land owners and tenants in order to collaborate.
- What exactly does the geophysical data acquisition activity involve? What are the necessary stages and procedures?
Field activities have several stages:
- Firstly the work area has to be inspected or scouted to determine if it is accessible for the company’s employees and equipment, and if there are any safety or environmental hazards or areas of historic, archaeological or environmental sensitivity which need to be protected. This information is used to develop a safe and efficient operational plan with the minimum environmental impact. During this process, local authorities are contacted to present them the project and to request assistance in identifying the land owners.
- The second phase involves teams of topographic surveyors who work to accurately identify where the equipment can be deployed and thus ensure that regulated safety distances are kept away from structures, utility infrastructure such as power and water lines, historic monuments and environmentally sensitive areas. Additionally, our Permit and Land Access Department endeavours to contact all land owners of the terrains comprised in the project perimeter. If it is unavoidable to disturb crops when working through private properties, the damages are evaluated and landowners are offered compensations.
- Depending on the type of soil, there can be used one or both sources of elastic waves generation, described below. These are classical methods, which have no effect on the environment or people, and are being practiced in Romania for over 60 years. Moreover, Prospectiuni uses safe techniques and modern equipment.
Using vibrators: Even if these machines seem somewhat larger, they are harmless and have a strictly monitored activity. A plate from the basis of the vibrator is descended slowly on the ground, transmitting vibrations inside. If you find yourselves at approximately 10 meters away from the location, you will have the same feeling as if, standing on the pavement, a large truck would pass by.
Using small explosions: Small agricultural tractors, equipped with augers, perform temporary holes, with 5-6, 5 cm in diameter and 3-15 meters deep, where a small quantity of explosive will be placed. No hole is performed closer to 100 meters from any building. Being at 100 meters from these small underground explosions, it feels like someone slams a door in an adjacent room.
- After removing the recording equipment, Prospectiuni’s employees will inspect the alignments in order to ensure that all the equipments have been gathered, to restore any disturbance and to ensure that, in the event of accidental damage, compensation has been offered.
- What precautions are taken when using explosives? In this direction, does the company own all the permits, as well as the qualified personnel?
Using explosive materials is a safe process, with no impact on the environment, terrains or people. Our specialized staff is qualified, competent and has experience in working with these materials.
Small agricultural tractors, equipped with augers, perform temporary holes, with 5-6,5 cm in diameter and 3-15 meters deep, where a small quantity of explosive will be placed. No hole is performed closer to 100 meters from any building. Being at 100 meters from these small underground explosions, it feels like someone slams a door in an adjacent room. The safety distances from public or private buildings, located in the vicinity, are strictly observed by our employees.
Prospectiuni has all the certificates and permits in accordance with legal regulations, for operations involving this method.
- What is the average duration of a geophysical data acquisition project?
The geophysical data acquisition projects may have different time duration, starting with a few weeks to several months, depending on the amount of work and size of the area being surveyed. However, the presence of recording equipment on any terrain will not exceed a few days.
- What are the benefits of the activity of Prospectiuni for the local community and for Romania in general?
Prospectiuni provides employment to thousands of people in Romania, ranging from researchers to non-specialized staff. We contribute to the local budgets in the areas and communities where we unfold our activity by renting accommodation and supporting local merchants. The company is actively involved in promoting education in Romania by supporting university and educational programs and sponsoring students. By expanding our activity internationally, we have become exporters of services abroad, and therefore bring international income back to Romania. Also, by resorting to the Romanian geological and geophysical expertise, we enable Romania to fully explore its mineral wealth and potential without relying on international companies.
- What is the impact of the works on the environment, people’s health, buildings in the work area or roads?
Prospectiuni works based on a solid commitment to maintain the safety and health of its employees and the community where it works. The company uses the same tractors and vehicles as farmers, and no type of chemicals. Therefore, our projects do not affect the environments (groundwater, air etc.) the fertility of the soil, roads or local houses. All exploration methods that are being used strictly observe the safety distances, provided by the law, from roads, railways, power lines, water streams, private or industrial buildings. The company’s activity has no adverse effects on the communities where we unfold geophysical data acquisition works or on their property.
Using the safest work techniques and state of the art equipment, Prospectiuni explores the country’s natural resources for over 60 de years. The surface measurements represent:
- A non-destructive „echography of the Earth”;
- Temporary access, leaving the terrains in their original condition;
- An activity that does not affect the water, air, fertility of the soil or houses. The National Environmental Protection Agency has categorized our activity (the geophysical data acquisition) as having an insignificant impact on the environment.
- What damages can be caused by the data acquisition activity?
This type of activity can cause only temporary damage, set up by the access of the equipment on the field. Regardless of their nature, they will be remedied or compensated in the shortest period of time.
- What happens at the end of a project?
Prospectiuni supports a working environment defined by ethics, transparency and mutual respect, and all the projects that we unfold are subject to these principles. Thus, at the end of each work, our crews sign a project conclusion agreement with the concerned city halls/police representatives, gather all the materials that have been used and thank the locals for their help.