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As much as land surveys from space can help optimise the mineral exploration processes, they still require significant investment. Russia has an enormous potential to apply space technologies in geological exploration, especially in oil and gas.
Space technologies made their way to the geological exploration industry in the form of remote sensing techniques.
Remote sensing provides access to satellite data that can be registered, processed, and archived. Exploration leverages structural analysis of surveyed surfaces to assess deep soil deposits, spectral analysis of minerals, prediction of mineral deposits, reserve estimates, mapping, update and analysis of geological anomalies and changes, monitoring of exogenous geological processes, etc.
The use of these techniques has a considerable economic potential. Key benefits include:
However, there are certain drawbacks, too:
The remote sensing market in Russia is still immature in terms of mass consumption: the country is lagging behind the global leaders, but is doing its best to stay abreast of the market trends.
The most promising spheres of remote sensing application in Russia include the following:
In 2016, budget funds allocated for geological exploration in Russia stood at RUB 35 billion, while the figure slated for 2017 is approximately RUB 30 billion. The investments from subsoil users in 2016 amounted to RUB 295 billion. In 2017, they are expected to rise to RUB 339–354 billion.