Fruma Arest: the Researcher who discovered oil and gas reserves in Turkmenistan

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Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper

Fruma Arest: the Researcher who discovered oil and gas reserves in Turkmenistan


26 November is the 105th birthday of Fruma Abramovna Arest, the famous geophysicist and specialist in the sphere of gravimetric cartography and one of the founders of Turkmen geological survey.

Exploration and development of colossal hydrocarbon reserves have started in the 30s of the last century together with gradual study of geological structure of Turkmenistan. The study resulted in forecasts and later on, oil and gas deposits have been discovered. Number of talented geologists and geophysicist including Fruma Arest were at the beginning of these works.

Fruma Arest was born in Kazan on November 26, 1913. After the graduation from physics and mathematics department of Kazan State University, she was assigned to Turkmen Variometric branch of the All-Union Geophysical Survey Department. She was among the pioneers of using of geophysical methods in exploration of natural deposits and gave her knowledge and experience to the justification of future discoveries of oil and gas deposits in our country.

These studies, together with seismic methods, gave the image of deep structure of entire region and highlighted characteristic features of buried geological structures containing oil and gas resources, having proven the efficiency of gravimetric method during exploration of hydrocarbon deposits. The results allowed making the first structural and tectonic map of Balkhan zone in 1948 and continuing gravimetric studies in the west of the country and in the foothills of Kopetdag Mountains along the course of the Karakum River, which was under project development stage those days.

Geophysical data about the territory of Central and Southeast Karakums has been summed up with her active participation in 1958-1959. Middle-scale gravimetric imaging of the plain part of Turkmenistan and adjoin parts of Caspian Sea has been completed in 1960 and the imaging of mountain areas has started in 1967. The results of these works allowed making maps of tectonic zoning of the country.

Physical properties of rocks, foundation and sediment thickness of the subsoils in Turkmenistan and patterns of their spatial distribution have been analysed by the data of geophysical studies, schematic maps of the rock density and other have been made. It was scientific breakthrough in geological survey at that time.

Fruma Arest was awarded with the Order of Lenin for the participation in discovery of oil deposits in Kumdag (1948), Koturdepe (1956) and Barsagelmez (1962) as well as gas condensate deposits in Kyzylkum (1958). Her professional achievements were awarded with the medals including the Medal for Merits in Exploration of the Subsoils as well as with numerous Certificates of Honours and insignia, which include the Honoured Citizen of Turkmenistan.

2018 is marked with other anniversaries in the history of Turkmen geological survey. The State Corporation Turkmengeologiya marked its 80th anniversary. It was founded in 1938 when Central Asian Geological Trust has been reformed into Turkmen Territorial Geological Department. Turkmen Geological Survey Expedition has also marked its 60th anniversary and Koytendag Geological Survey branch — its 70th anniversary. In general, geological survey on the territory of the country have been continued for more than 140 years.

Elena Dolgova

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