Rosneft has begun drilling at the northernmost well in the Russian Arctic shelf, the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 in the Khatangsky license area.
Image of Rosneft workers drilling the northernmost well at the Russian shelf. Image from Rosneft.
Khatangsky is located in the Khatanga bay, in the North of the Krasnoyarsk region. The area spans 18,709sq km at 32m water depth. The Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 is the first well that will be drilled under the offshore area of the Laptev Sea.
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 8000-tonne of cargos were delivered from the sea port of Arkhangelsk to the drilling site. Having covered the distance of 3600km 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.
Rosneft gained approval from Russia President Vladimir Putin 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 21km 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,” says Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.
Sechin says that 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 5000m with a subsequent horizontal leg.
“The technology we have enables us to drill with a vertical deviation of up to 15,000m. This technology makes it possible to save money, ensures economic efficiency, and meets high environmental standards,” says Sechin.
Starting from 2012 Rosneft investments in Arctic shelf development amounted to some US$1.7 billion (RUB 100 billion). The company is plans to maintain the pace of its activities, and investment volumes are increase more than double to about $4.4 billion (RUB 250 billion) between 2017 to 2021.
This year, Sechin says that Rosneft will start on the Khatanga block, by drilling in the Black Sea. Next year, Rosneft expects to drill in the Barents Sea, and in 2019, return to the Kara oil and gas field, and will continue work in the eastern Arctic.
“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,” says Putin.