Roman Storozhev, president of the Association "Subsoil users of Ukraine" commented progress in improving access to the geological information and challenges faced by the government in this area.
What changes in the sphere of geological information have been made in recent years?
Recent changes in the access to the geological information was made in October 2014. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine introduced changes to the Regulations on the usage of geological information, resulting in the possible application to the form of the output of the expert commission of State Service of Geology and mineral resources of Ukraineon the possibility of export of geological information. This has simplified the procedure.
Also today, you can get online information about what companies for how long and on what field received special permission for the use of subsoil. This information is available on the website of SE "Geoinform" and contains detailed information about the field: location, type of minerals, the total number of reserves at the time of granting special permits for subsoil use, the degree of development of mineral resources, funding sources and the cost of geological information.
What are the perspectives of creating in Ukraine digital databases of geological information?
Work has already begun on the creation of digital databases. In October 2014 on the site of SE "Geoinform" сreated a "Subsoil Use: objects for investments", where any company, regardless of location can find information about the field, its location, area, minerals, quantity (volume). This section also contains a general map and recommendations for the extraction or the need for further geological exploration. For some deposits have been made calculations on the volume of necessary investments.
The publication of information online has just begun, the base already contains information about the deposits of metallic and non-metallic minerals. There are no data on hydrocarbon deposits, but this is what should appear in the future. Hydrocarbon deposits are most popular with investors. Previously, data was stored on paper, now it has to be digitized. The project, which now realizes SE "Geoinform" will last for three years.
In addition, the site of State Service of Geology and mineral resources of Ukraine began to publish information about existing mineral deposits, which are not involved in the development. Information for each field contains information about the form of the minerals, the name of the field and geo-referenced resources of national importance. I think that this is the beginning of creation a full-scale geographic information system in accordance with European standards, which in the future will allow a potential investor to obtain quickly an open geological information about a particular field, which will help to make a decision about investing and predicting different risks.
What further steps should be taken in the sphere of geological information?
Geological information - above all is a strategic asset of the state, good governance of which will attract investments in the sector of subsoil use. Creating a digital database, you can simplify and reduce the time of access to geological information, and resolve the issue of database storage. The work begins with a investor’s study of geological information on potential fields. It is very important in the first stage of cooperation to prepare scientific and informational support of geological projects. After all, complete and accessible geological information enables subsoil users - both public and private - make the most effective investment program, a work plan, and helps to ensure the best possible and efficient exploitation of hydrocarbons. Therefore, in the next year or two it is necessary to complete the digitization of geological data, convert to technically advanced database, which, in consequence, could be integrated into the investment proposals of Ukraine. For the development of gas production in Ukraine, and creating more attractive field for investors,it it necessery to ensure the availability of geological information, bringing it into line with international standards by creating a digital database of geological information on prospective hydrocarbon areas in the territory of Ukraine. And this work in the direction of informational ensuring of the industry of subsoil use gives new opportunities for cooperation between the state and subsoil users.
What initiatives in the field of geological information supports the Association of the subsoil users?
Our association is studying the experience of the leading countries of the EU and other resource-rich countries on governance control models of the mineral resource base. These findings will be useful in the development and public discussion of the new edition of the Subsoil Code, on which work is continuing in Ukraine. Leading European experience enables the industry to ensure transparency, to establish acceptable to all players in the industry of stable conditions for participation in the development of Ukrainian subsoil. Particulary, at this stage Association "Subsoil users of Ukraine" actively involved in the implementation of the international EITI reporting standards in Ukraine. In our opinion, this is the first and very important step for the development of public-private partnerships in order to ensure transparency in the industry. The introduction of such a mechanism will give an impetus and motivation to improve cooperation between subsoil users and government, including on access to geological information.
Association "Subsoil users of Ukraine" was founded in 2008 with the aim of creating an effective, innovation-oriented system of geological study and renewal of the mineral resource base necessary to meet the needs of the national economy, ensuring energy and resource security. The Association consists of mining companies, geological profile public organizations, professional legal institution. The primary tasks, that over 6 years of operation solves the association, are to promote the development of modern structurally integrated and unified legal framework, primarily single Code on mineral resources of Ukraine, in order to improve the outdated rules of the Code, as well as water, forest and land legislation.
April 6, 2015