Rosneft starts drilling northern-most Arctic well.


Rosneft has started drilling the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well in the Khatangsky license area. The well is the northernmost in the Russian Arctic shelf and commenced with Russian President Vladimir Putin launching proceedings via a video link-up with Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin.
Putin emphasized the importance of Rosneft’s project, saying: “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.”
Sechin reported to Putin that 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 kilometres 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,” the CEO said.
There are no sea ports in the Khara-Tumus peninsula and the window period for vessels operating in this area is no longer than two months of the year.
However, Rosneft said that 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 3,600km across 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.
Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 is the first well that will be drilled in the area of the Laptev Sea.
Sechin informed 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 metres with a subsequent horizontal leg. The technology we have enables us to drill with a vertical deviation of up to 15,000 metres. This technology makes it possible to save money, ensures economic efficiency, and meets high environmental standards. Our company is one of the world leaders today in developing offshore fields.”
Putin highlighted the importance of development of the 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.”
The Khatangsky license area is located in Khatanga bay, in the Laptev Sea to the north of the Krasnoyarsk region with an acreage spanning 18,709sqkm. The sea depth is up to 32 meters.
Rosneft holds 28 license areas at the Arctic shelf with a total resource of 34 btoe. According to estimates, the Arctic shelf will account for 20-30% of Russia’s total oil production by 2050.
Last year Rosneft performed significant exploration in the area, shooting 35 000km of 2D seismic and 5000sqkm of 3D seismic. In addition, the company compiled 207 000sqkm of aero geophysical surveys, resulting in a total exploration area of 0.8 million sqkm.


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