The Kara-Summer 2013 expedition organized by Rosneft in partnership with the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute completed its voyage on August 16, 2013.
Experts spent 30 days at sea aboard the Akademik Fyodorov survey vessel owned by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. They conducted a large scale met-ocean survey in the Kara Sea, monitored outlet glaciers on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, analyzed ice conditions, and determined iceberg drift and morphometric parameters.
The key objectives of the expedition were as follows:
1. Collect met-ocean data (wave, currents, sea level fluctuation, wind velocity, etc.) for exploratory drilling in the Vostochno- Prinovozemelsky-1 license block priority areas, in particular, in the University structure.
2. Collect met-ocean and ice data for conceptual design of year-round oil and gas production facilities in each of the three Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky license blocks.
3. Improve the quality of the Kara Sea weather forecasts both for Rosneft needs and in the interests of the whole of Russia.
The study data will be used to provide met-ocean information for exploratory drilling in the Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky-1 license block priority areas, specifically, in the University structure, as well as for conceptual design of year-round oil and gas production facilities in each of the three Vostochno-Prinovozemelsky license blocks, primarily of gravity-based platforms, export terminals and subsea production facilities. Kara-Summer 2013 is the third expedition commissioned by Rosneft. These expeditions utilized four vessels, including Yamal nuclear-powered ice-breaker.
In August alone, Rosneft used 12 vessels, three aircraft, air drones, submersibles, subsea and floating self-contained stations, satellite surveillance systems and other equipment for the Kara Sea studies. In addition, the company invited leading Russian and international research and development organizations to take part in these studies. The scientific community has received unique information about natural conditions in the South-Western Kara Sea largely thanks to Rosneft’s efforts. Thus, Rosneft investigated such an extremely dangerous natural phenomenon, as the Novaya Zemlya Bora, a wind that blows from the mountainous coast of Novaya Zemlya and gaining a velocity of over 50 m/s.
The research program also included studies of sea waves, currents, distribution of water masses of different origins, temperature and water salinity variability, dangerous ice bodies, ice drift and strength properties, and iceberg build-up and spread rate. In 2013, Rosneft’s total investments in the Kara Sea studies will exceed 1.5 bln rubles.On the east coast of Novaya Zemlya where no routine weather observations have been conducted since the 1990s, Rosneft and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute installed three self-contained weather stations transmitting data on weather conditions in the West Arctic region.
Given the low exploration maturity of the Kara Sea, Rosneft in cooperation with ExxonMobil gave the green light to a series of large-scale, scientific and research programs in the Kara Sea to precede 2014 exploration. Given the severe working environment in the Kara Sea, Rosneft intends to use unique technologies and equipment, which will boost the development of the Russian industry. The Arctic oilfield development will build a demand for products offered by other industries and for highly professional labor force thus fueling social and economic development of the northern regions and further growth of many Russian industries. Leading global energy corporations, such as ExxonMobil, Statoil and Eni with their unique experiences in the development of technologically advanced projects and state-of-the-art technologies joined Rosneft in the Arctic oilfield development.