Rosneft starts drilling of northernmost well at Russian shelf

4/5/2017

MOSCOW -- Rosneft started drilling of the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well at the Khatangsky license area. The well is the northernmost at the Russian Arctic shelf. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched exploration drilling via video link-up with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin who was on the shore of the Khatanga bay.

“We are seeing the start of work to develop a whole oil and gas province, which preliminary data suggest contains a vast quantity of energy resources. Horizontal drilling is a complex and high-tech operation. This is just the first well. There is much more work ahead. I would like to wish you good luck and I hope for this undertaking’s success,” Putin said.

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Rosneft has begun drilling of the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well at the Khatangsky license area. Photo: Rosneft.

Sechin reported to Putin that the preparation for drilling had been completed in record-breaking time. “With your support, we gained the right to work on the Khatanga block just over a year ago. We carried out unprecedented geological exploration work within a very short period. We completed 21 linear km of seismic studies that revealed the existence of 114 promising oil and gas-bearing structures. Preliminary estimates suggest that the Laptev Sea’s total potential geological resources could come to 9.5 billion tonnes of oil equivalent,” he said.

There are no sea ports in the vicinity of the Khara-Tumus peninsula and the navigation period in this area lasts no longer than two months a year. However, in 2016, during the summer navigation, more than 8,000 tons of cargos were delivered from the sea port of Arkhangelsk to the drilling site. Having covered the distance of 3,600 km across the areas of the White Sea, the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea, two ice class cargo vessels delivered the drilling rig, equipment and materials for drilling, and accommodation modules. The drilling will be performed by RN-Burenie – Rosneft’s in-house service company. During the project’s implementation results of the work of the first year-round research base in the Arctic region will be used. The research base was set up by Rosneft in 2016 in the proximity of the drilling site in Khatanga bay.

Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 is the first well that will be drilled under the offshore area of the Laptev Sea. Igor Sechin informed Vladimir Putin that “the drilling will be done from the coast, as this makes it possible to considerably reduce the construction costs of this well. The design depth is up to 5,000 m with a subsequent horizontal leg. The technology we have enables us to drill with a vertical deviation of up to 15,000 m. This technology makes it possible to save money, ensures economic efficiency, and meets high environmental standards,” Sechin said.

Starting from 2012 Rosneft investments in Arctic shelf development amounted to about RUB 100 bln. The Company is plans to maintain the pace of its activities, and investment volumes are to grow two and a half times up to RUB 250 bln in the period from 2017 to 2021.

In report to the President, Sechin set out the priorities in the company's working plans at the Russian offshore. “We started working in the Kara Sea in 2014, acting on your instructions, and discovered a very important field – the Kara oil and gas-bearing province. This year, after starting on the Khatanga block, we will be drilling in the Black Sea. Next year, we will drill in the Barents Sea, and in 2019, we will return to the Kara oil and gas field, and will continue our work in the eastern Arctic.”

Putin highlighted the importance of the development of Arctic by state-owned companies: “We have tremendous untapped offshore and coastal reserves in the Arctic. Given the tremendous value and importance of these reserves of hydrocarbons and other minerals, we have allowed only companies in which the state holds a majority stake to take part in this work. Licenses have been accorded only to Rosneft and Gazprom. Rosneft should undoubtedly make the best possible use of these privileges.”

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