French geoscience company CGG and Russian energy shipping firm Sovcomflot have signed an agreement to form a new joint-venture (JV) company for seismic survey work in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters.

Sovcomflot will own 51% interest in the JV, which will be called Arctic Geophysical Exploration (AGE), while the remaining 49% will be held by CGG.

The JV will be incorporated in Russia with its headquarters in Moscow.

As per the agreement, CGG will charter a 14-streamer ice-class vessel and Sovcomflot will add the capabilities of an eight-streamer ice-class vessel.

"The JV will be incorporated in Russia with its headquarters in Moscow."

The JV primarily intends to provide 3D marine seismic acquisition services to operators during the Arctic navigation season.

Both firms will have a combined total of four vessels that are due to operate on client projects, which are expected to commence by the fourth quarter of 2014.

CGG CEO Jean-Georges Malcor said: "The Russian Arctic is an exciting new frontier that has increasingly shown its potential over the last two years.

"By bringing together the two companies’ strong HSE cultures, Sovcomflot’s considerable Arctic maritime experience and Russian presence along with CGG’s expertise as a leading technology provider, we believe this JV will create a strong vehicle for growth in this demanding region."

Sovcomflot president and CEO Sergey Frank said: "By combining Sovcomflot’s in-depth knowledge and experience of operating in the Arctic with CGG’s global expertise in marine seismic operations, we have created a powerful new Russian marine seismic company able to meet the most demanding technical and operational challenges of the Arctic region, whilst also being able to offer a competitive range of seismic services internationally."