ExxonMobil and Rosneft have discovered oil at the world’s northernmost well – the Universitetskaya-1 – in the Kara Sea, offshore Russia.
According to Rosneft, the oil discovery was made at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area. The drilling, using the West Alpha semi-submersible drilling rig, was completed in what Rosneft says is a record-breaking time – in one and a half month.
At the moment the geological data interpretation is being conducted, and the field’s development model is being elaborated, Rosneft said in a statement.
During the ceremony dedicated to the completion of the drilling the head of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said: “I can inform you about the discovery of the first oil/gas-condensate field in the new Kara sea oil province. The first oil was extracted. It is an astonishing sample of light oil, which based on the results of the analysis performed, is comparable to the Siberian Light oil.
“The resource base estimate of just this oil trap is 338 bcm of gas and more than 100 mln tones of oil. And this is just the estimates of this very structure. This is an outstanding result of the first exploratory drilling on a completely new offshore field. This is our united victory, it was achieved thanks to our friends and partners from ExxonMobil, Nord Atlantic Drilling, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford, Baker, Trendsetter, FMC. We would like to name this field Pobeda (English: Victory )”
Earlier this week, it was announced that ExxonMobil and Rosneft would stop their Kara Sea drilling operations by October 10, due to sanctions imposed by the U.S. Treasury against Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
The sanctions prevent all U.S. based oil companies from conducting operations related to the exportation of goods, services, or technology in support of exploration or production for Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil, to five Russian energy companies – Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft.
The original deadline for the companies to comply with the sanctions was September 26, 2014, but ExxonMobil has been given more time, so it can safely wind down operations at its arctic well.
According to Rosneft, which has quoted ‘experts’, the volume of the Kara Sea oil province resources exceeds the oil and gas resources the Gulf of Mexico, the Brazilian shelf, the shelf of Alaska and Canada, and it is comparable to the resource base of Saudi Arabia.