Seismic survey for Energean oil company in Montenegrin territorial waters, carried out by seismic ship Ramform Titan and support ships Thor Freyja and Sanco Sea, has finished on 20. February 2019. Ramform Titan started with preparation of streamers around 7. February and commenced blasting its airguns on 10. February. While main ship was preparing its seismic equipment, the support ship Thor Freyja was cruising along the Montenegrin coast, most probably carrying out so called „pre-survey monitoring“. That „monitoring“ was lasting only about 3 days, in a period of 6-9. February, covering approximately 600 km. Judging by the tracks (looking like predefined transect lines) of the Thor Freyja, the „pre-survey monitoring“ was mostly carried out along the shallow coastal area, covering only smaller part of the seismic survey. It was also timed perfectly so that immediately after streamers and airguns on the main ship were warmed up and ready, it finished with “monitoring” and joined the main seismic ship. The seismic ship covered approximately 1800 km during its surveying covering the shallow waters of continental shelf along the Montenegrin shore. The survey was carried out in an area approximately 1-10 NM from the shore, so blasting was audible even to people walking along the coast.

Seismic surveying is the most devastating form of surveying in the sea, doing damage to animal life. Therefore, most legislation and agreements call upon reasonable and careful use of such activities with emphasis on avoiding unnecessary duplication. Unfortunately, although seismic surveys for ENI/Novatek and Energean covered almost the same area in almost the same time, the authorities and investors did not endeavour to merge the effort and minimise the negative impact. Therefore, within only two months, the coastal area of the Montenegrin waters was surveyed twice. In addition, environmental footprint of this surveys was doubled as people and boats participating in it had to travel hundreds and thousands of kilometres to reach Adriatic causing unnecessary pollution. What a shame!