Gazpromneft Sakhalin, a Gazprom Neft subsidiary, has hired Japan Drilling’s Hakuryu-5 semi-sub rig to drill the first prospecting and appraisal well on the Ayashsky block in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Gazpromneft was awarded a license for the exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbons at the Ayashsky block late last month. The block is located in an already proven oil- and gas-bearing region next to the developed fields of the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects and forms part of the Sakhalin-3 project.
Gazprom Neft said on Tuesday that the contract is for the construction of a prospecting and appraisal well at the Ayashsky license block. So far, the block has seen no exploratory or appraisal drilling.
The semi-submersible drilling rig is expected to complete the drilling campaign, well testing, and core sampling for laboratory testing during the 2017 summer season.
The Hakuryu-5 rig was subject to extensive technological modification in 2014. The company noted that further modernization would be done as part of preparations for the 2017 drilling season in line with the demands of the climatic and hydrological conditions of the Sea of Okhotsk.
Andrey Patrushev, Deputy CEO for Shelf Projects Development at Gazprom Neft, said: “Gazprom Neft continues to investigate all of the company’s license blocks located on Russia’s continental shelf.
“We are convinced that the unique experience we have accumulated on the Russian Arctic Shelf can be successfully utilized in implementing projects throughout Russia’s other promising oil regions and that using international best practice in drilling and well testing will ensure safe and effective operations.”
The semi-sub previously worked for Rosneft, in the Nam Con Son basin, offshore Vietnam.