The success in the sands of the Kara Kum has been made with the help of geologists from Belarus.
This is coincidence that their professional holiday has fallen on the 2nd of April.
Mineral prospectors used to be associated with a pick, a spade and a rucksack, as well as a guitar and a beard.
This profession has been one of the most romantic.
A prospecting expedition is working about 300 kilometers from the capital of Belarus, Minsk. One can see there no bearded men with picks and spades despite the image some romantic films provoke.
What one can see when on the drilling rig is toil accompanied by continuous work of mighty engines.
The roar is so loud that one has to shout. It is all the might, the core of the drilling rig, which reminds a car with its own gearbox.
However, one cannot turn back when the geologists have already drilled the soil, certainly in a figurative sense. A well makes no excuse for standby. Mobile rocks can shift and spoil the work. So the process is constant.
Lyudmila Nikitenko, a leading engineer:
One has to work on these keyseats day and night, regardless of the time of the day and the weather, no matter whether it is raining or snowing.
These pipes will be sunk into the soil soon. Such 3-kilometer stand of pipes will be like a well for ‘swaging’ the rock, as the geologists say.
However, this is not a limit. The record well in Belarus is 5,000 meters deep.
Nila Suslenko, a head geologist of the Mozyr long-hole drilling oil prospecting expedition:
The site is likely to be rich in oil. The one that is volatile and of good quality. Numerous oilfields have been found in the Pripyat Trough, which has proven oil resources.
Polesye is a land abundant in ‘black gold’.
A pioneer of deposits in Belarus, Victor was among the first students to enroll the Mozyr Geology School 50 years ago. He has been awarded two Orders of Labour. However, there is no award to compare with the thirst for discovery.
Victor Lunev, an expert at complicated tasks:
It is pleasure to see even a piece of rock all covered with oil, as you understand that you have toiled not in vain.
Dmitriy Kretsu, an assistant of the drill operator:
I have liked this profession since school, and wished to get this job. The job is toil.
So the romantism of the profession appealed to Dmitriy, while its difficulties did not frighten him.
He shows us, not without pride, a settlement of the shift workers
Dmitriy Kretsu, an assistant of the drill operator:
Here are the cars, where we live, take meals and change our clothes. There is also a sauna, TV sets and everything required.
Life on wheels is quite comfortable. There is also ‘transmitter’ (the name given to the car with communication), from where one can observe drilling. Still the main object here is the canteen.
This is where chernozem soil will come as a result, wherever the drilling machine will be replaced by a compact jack pump and where oil extraction will start.
But now let’s head for the south-east a hundred kilometers from here. The site surrounded by forests, where no road leads, has been chosen by geologists for exploring.
Alexander Dikon, the head of the Mozyr long-hole drilling oil prospecting expedition:
This is just for a start of geological prospecting works. Here is the first well with such a long hole to drill. This soil has never been drilled deeper than a kilometer.
The geologists are not aware of what they will come across when getting deeper. Various chisels are ready for drilling. The ones with diamond spatter are for the very depths. As many as 600 meters of core sample is to be excavated. The name refers to the samples of rock. The composition of the core will be decoded like a ‘blackbox’ in the laboratory.
However, the experienced geologist Nina shows us the traces of mineral deposits to be seen with a naked eye.
Nina Cherenkova, a field service geologist:
Whatever work I do, each time, in each well, when we discover oil or minerals, there is an impetus, hope that we don’t work in vain, don’t drill in vain.
Igneous rocks are findings of interest. It is these where kimberlite ‘diamond’ pipes occur.
We have taken a core sample to the laboratory without waiting for the results of the investigation.
Galina Lappo, geologist:
As this rock sample is of magma origin there may be some diamond deposits.
It is unbelievable, but we are holding in our hands a rock sample that dates back to the era of dinosaurs.
What other treasures are hidden in the depths of Belarussian soil? Belarussian geologists have found amber deposits, while large basalt deposits are to be import-substituting raw material for building materials and mineral fertilizers production.
This is a good reason to call geologists “the eyes of industry”, as it is geological ‘output’ that a lot of enterprises run on.
Evgeniy Podgorny, the General Manager of the geology scientific production center:
Our technologists have recently discovered amber deposits in Belarus.
The depths are rich in Belarus. This concerns vast coal deposits in the Lelchitsy region. Nevertheless, the conditions for its industrial development for now don’t let us call this an economically effective project.
It is a matter of several years provided that there are innovative technologies.
Geology students go to fields by tradition, as the great season of field work starts.
In addition to equipment and rucksacks, there is always an opportunity to take a guitar to keep the classical image of a geologist.
The graduates of the Gomel Geology Faculty are working all over the planet. Seismologists study the depths of the planet in Africa and South America. While the guys dream about the discoveries on their native land.
Maxim Buglakov, a student of the Gomel State University:
Our generation can take advantage of more modern technologies, more modern equipment and can drill deeper wells. The land of Belarus, called Sineokaya, or Blue-eyed (as its territory has more than 10,000 lakes), may hide some more diamonds.
However fast the technologies are advancing, the depths of the planet are explored by the representatives of the romantic profession.
Anton Mikutsevich, an assistant of the drill operator:
Hardly anyone else has contemplated sunrises in such conditions.